Contents of the infamous burofax Lionel Messi sent to ex-Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, have been revealed.
Messi sent the document last summer, in an attempt to engineer a move away from Camp Nou, has now been revealed.
The 34-year-old expressed his desire to leave Spain, shortly after their Champions League thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in August 2020.
He believed there was a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for free, despite having another year left on his deal.
The Catalan side disputed the claim and Messi ultimately relented, though he would only stay for another year before moving to PSG.
The burofax, obtained by Mundo Deportivo, is dated August 24, 2020, nine days after Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 Champions League defeat by Bayern and a day after the German side lifted the trophy with victory in the final against PSG.
Messi’s contract had a clause that stipulated he could leave if he requested to do so before June 10, 2020 – the scheduled end of the 2019-20 season.
That deadline was obviously missed, but Messi argued the delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic meant the clause was still valid.
He cited force majeure, which is a clause regularly used in contracts that prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations because of an unforeseen event out of their control, with the pandemic being such an event.
“I understand that the time frame of the right of unilateral termination without cause regulated by the aforementioned clause must be interpreted in accordance with the exceptional circumstances in which the 2019/20 football competition season has taken place, due to the state of emergency and the situation of force majeure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” read the burofax.
“Due to these exceptional circumstances, the 2019/20 competition season ended yesterday, without prejudice to the fact that for our team, this end took place on August 15, when we returned to Barcelona after our elimination from the Champions League on the night of August 14.
“In any case, within 10 days following the end of the season of competition, and thus meeting the agreed deadline for exercising the aforementioned clause 3.1., in accordance with the material contract of our agreement, which must be interpreted in accordance with the exceptional circumstances of the 2019/20 season, I exercise my right to terminate the contract with effect from August 30, 2020, with the consequences provided for in the aforementioned stipulation 3.1.”