Barcelona top-player{Lionel Messi} tell club he wants to leave the club but could face legal battleLionel Messi has told the club he wants to leave Barcelona after nearly two decades with the Spanish team.

The club confirmed to The Joint Press on Tuesday that the Argentine sent a document expressing his wish to leave.

The statement comes 11 days after Barcelona’s 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals.

This is also Barca’s firsrt season without a title win since 2007-08.

Messi, 33, has won a record six Ballon d’Or awards during his time at Barcelona, largely sharing the accolade over the past decade with Cristiano Ronaldo, now of Juventus.

He has also helped the Catalan club win 10 Spanish league titles and four Champions League crowns.

Possible legal battle

But his attempted exit from the Spanish giant could see a legal battle ensue.

The club said the document sent by Messi referenced a clause allowing him to leave for free at the end of the season.

The club says the deadline for triggering that clause expired in June, adding that it would seek legal advice.

Lionel Messi contract has a 700 million euro buyout clause.

Who could afford him?

If Lionel Messi should leave for free, he will have no shortage of suitors.

Only top clubs with enough cash could actually spend to pay his wages even without a transfer fee — with mega-rich Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City widely seen as perhaps the most likely destinations.

Lionel Messi has been outspoken about his dissatisfaction with some of Barcelona’s decisions this season.

Barcelona club president Josep Bartomeu had said he was confident that  Lionel Messii would finish his career with Barcelona, and that he was a crucial part of incoming coach Ronald Koeman’s plans for the team.

Lionel Messi come through at Barcelona as a teenager in 2001, joining the club’s famed La Masia youth academy.

His first-team debut came in 2003 as a 16-year-old, and since then he led Barcelona to 34 titles.

Lionel Messi holds most individual records at the club, scoring 634 goals and making 276 assists in 731 appearances.

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