Barcelona (AFP) – Lionel Messi has ensured he could become a free agent if Barcelona no longer plays in a major European league as a result of Catalan independence, Spanish media wrote on Friday.
According to a report in Madrid daily El Mundo, the contract Messi signed last November includes a clause that he must remain a Barcelona player only as long as the club is playing in “a top-level European league.”
A source at Barcelona told AFP that “for reasons of confidentiality the club never comments on contractual relations with players.”
Catalonian nationalists proclaimed independence from Spain after a referendum on October 1, precipitating a crisis which is still unresolved.
The Spanish civil and football authorities have said repeatedly that Catalan secession would end the participation of the region’s clubs in the Spanish League.
If Catalonia becomes independent and Barcelona are booted out of La Liga and cannot persuade another major league (France, Italy, Germany or England) to give them a home, Messi could leave without having to pay his 700 million euro ($843 million) buyout clause, said El Mundo.
The newspaper said that leaving La Liga would have the same impact on the rest of the Barcelona squad, whether they have specific clauses or not, because it would represent a substantial change to the circumstances under which they signed their contracts.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Borussia Dortmund part ways with coach Marco Rose
- Klopp confirms ‘Liverpool legend’ Origi is leaving Anfield
- UK police probe Vieira pitch ‘altercation’ at Everton match
- Tuchel hails Chelsea ‘miracle’ after Kante injury issues
- Dutch striker Miedema signs new deal at Arsenal
- Trailblazing referee Yamashita proud of ‘dream’ World Cup role
- Dazzling but empty stadiums a symbol of China’s fading football dream
- Milan on brink of historic title as thrilling season heads down to the wire
- What is still at stake in Europe’s top leagues
- Granada aim to seal La Liga survival in three-way relegation fight