Lionel Messi's infamous burofax stating his intention to leave Barcelona in August 2020 has emerged in the media.
An exclusive report by Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo has reproduced the document in its entirety.
The opening statement of the burofax reads:
“By means of this, and in accordance with the provisions of clause 3.1. of the contract of November 25, 2017, I express to you my willingness to terminate my employment contract as a professional footballer with an effective date of August 30, 2020.”
The named clause that Messi was referring to stated that his contract extension ran from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2021. It added that the player could terminate the contract for free. However, it had this pre-existing condition:
“prior communication to the club carried out before June 10, 2020, without any rights for FC Barcelona.''
Due to the complicated nature of the 2019-20 season owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the season stretched out into August, by which time the clause had expired.
Lionel Messi, however, went ahead and submitted the document, with his lawyers arguing that the exceptional circumstances meant that the clause could still be enacted.
“Due to the exceptional circumstances, the 2019-2020 competition season ended yesterday, without prejudice to that for our team, this completion would take place on August 15, when we returned to Barcelona after our elimination from the Champions League on the night of August 14.”
The final statement of the burofax read:
“In any case, within 10 days after the end of the competition season, and complying with this, the agreed term to exercise clause 3.1., and in accordance with the material content of our agreement which must be interpreted in accordance with the exceptional circumstances of the 2019-2020 season, I exercise my right to terminate the contract with effect date August 30 2020, with the consequences set forth in the aforementioned provision 3.1. Yours sincerely, Lionel Andrés Messi”.
Barcelona flatly refused to honor Messi's request. La Liga also waded in, stating that any transfer would have to trigger the full value of the player's release clause.
Ultimately, Messi rescinded his decision to avoid a protracted court decision with the club he cherishes.
Barcelona and Lionel Messi have begun new eras after a glorious marriage
Barcelona and Lionel Messi's union were a match made in heaven, and many believed that the Argentina international would end his illustrious career at Camp Nou.
However, that was not the case. Several years of gross mismanagement at the board level meant that the club were unable to register Messi for the coming season. This was despite a contract extension having been agreed with a 50% wage deduction.
Messi agreed to a move to Paris Saint-Germain, while Barcelona have continued to trim their squad as they attempt to begin a long-overdue rebuilding phase.