Remember the big news in July that Lionel Messi was returning to play for Barcelona with a new contract?

That’s old news.  And it’s not happening.  

The breakdown centered around money.  To put it simply, there’s new people running the show for Barcelona and they simply were not able to put a deal together for the 34 year old soccer legend. 

Team president Joan Laporta spoke at a news conference Friday, and said he and his fellow execs inherited a “disastrous” situation from the previous board, meaning it was impossible to keep Lessi. 

Here’s some of the highlights from the press conference and what Laporta told the media.

“I don’t want to generate false hope. During the course of negotiations, we’ve known of other offers for Messi. There was a time limit, for us and for [Messi’s camp], because they need time. The leagues are starting.

“The negotiations with Messi have ended and it’s brought us here without an agreement because of the salary limit. Leo wanted to stay, so he’s not happy. We all wanted him to stay, but now, like us, he is facing the reality of what’s happened. A reality that can’t be changed.”

The Barcelona team has faced years of mismanagement, culminating in this debacle to keep Messi on board, which the soccer legend desperately wanted. 

So, Lionel Messi is a free agent. Let the bidding begin. 

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