It’s actually happening this time, isn’t it?
In an extraordinary turn of events, Lionel Messi is set to finally leave Barcelona after 18 years at the club, just hours after it was believed there would be a breakthrough and the 34-year-old would renew his contract.
While plenty might have been expecting one last twist in the tale (especially after last time), Barca made it real after posting an emotional and truly nostalgic video simple captioned, “Thank you, Leo.”
A full seven minutes of memories, all filmed with majestic ceremony and blockbuster fashion, that make you genuinely forget there was ever a debate as to who is the GOAT.
Thank you, Leo. pic.twitter.com/cdS9xWe8Me
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021
What is essentially a highlight reel that speaks for itself, the message is clear: as messy (pardon the pun) as things may have on the business side of things towards the end there, what this man has done for this club cannot be put into words, so you might as well just roll the clip and soak it in.
Barcelona’s financial troubles may have ultimately been the catalyst for his departure but we always knew this day would come, whether he left or simply retired. We’re just glad we’re part of the generation that got to witness it.
It’s sounding as though it’s the end for Messi, which it’s not – no doubt he’ll go and reunite with Neymar at PSG, to the MLS or back to his boyhood club, Newell’s Old Boys – but in many ways, it does feel like it. It’s the end of a truly unforgettable era and football won’t be the same without seeing Messi in a Barca shirt.
We will, of course, watch him wherever he goes and continue to marvel in his genius, as will Catalonians and Barca fans all around the world, no doubt. Watch every second of it and do your best to hold back the tears.
Thank you, Leo.