Lionel Messi is now a free agent following the expiration of his contract with Barcelona.
The 34-year-old, who about 12 months earlier made an attempt to leave Barcelona, is no longer under contract with the Spanish giants and can now join any club if he decides to.
Messi’s contract officially expired as soon as the clock struck 12 a.m on July 1 and although there were reports that he would likely re-sign with the Spanish giants, nothing concrete has been done.
There are reports that Messi and Barcelona will work towards a contract, but until there is conclusive evidence that it is indeed in the pipeline, Messi being a free agent is bound to attract the attention of plenty of clubs.
Messi was in hot form in the just-concluded season, as he emerged as the leading scorer in the Spanish league with 30 goals and helped Barcelona win the Copa del Rey title.
Messi has won 35 titles in 17 seasons, helping the club win the Champions League four times, the Spanish league 10 times, the Copa del Rey seven times and the Spanish Super Cup eight times.
Messi has a record six Ballon d’Or awards. He is the team’s all-time leading scorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances, and the top scorer in the Spanish league with 474 goals in 520 matches. He also is the player with most matches with the club. He was the top scorer in the Spanish league in eight seasons and the top scorer in the Champions League on six occasions.