Barcelona stunned the football world on Thursday by announcing that Messi would be leaving this summer, citing “financial and structural obstacles” in concluding a new deal with the star.
Messi has been out of contract since the end of June and wanted to pen a new deal with Barcelona, but the cash-strapped Spanish club were unable to do so while remaining within La Liga finance regulations.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Laporta said that Barcelona would be “eternally grateful” to Messi but that fans should not expect to see him in the famous Blaugrana colors again.
“The club is over 100 years old and is above everyone and everything, even above the best player in the world, the best player who has been with us for the past few years," said Laporta.
"We’ll always thank him for everything he has done for us.”
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