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Lionel Messi resumes training with Barcelona teammates after deciding to stay

On September 4, the striker Lionel Messipublished a video message confirming that he would remain at the club for the 2020-21 season.

SNS | New Delhi |

Lionel Messi finally resumed training with FC Barcelona after creating a massive tension as he had expressed his desire to leave his childhood club ahead of the upcoming season.

The 33-year-old returned to the training grounds after it a middle ground was reached by him and the club management. Messi will not stay at Barcelona till at least the end of 2020-21 season when his contract will come to and end as well.

Barcelona had confirmed in the last week of August that Messi notified them about his desire to leave the Catalan club via burofax, a service used in Spain to urgently dispatch a document that requires proof to third parties.

Making his stance clearer, the 33-year-old forward did not appear for the coronavirus tests ahead of Barca’s return to training last week. He had also not attended any of the training sessions under new coach Ronald Koeman, insisting that he was firm on leaving the Spanish side.

However, Barcelona maintained that Messi’s contract had a clause that allowed him to move out of the club for free, but it needed to be activated by June 10. According to the management at Camp Nou, the only way he would be allowed to depart now is by paying the release clause of 700 million euros.

The lawyers of the six-time Ballon d’Or winners, on the other hand, argue that the clause doesn’t refer to a specific date but to 10 days after the end of the 2019-20 season.

European season generally ends of May 30. But, due to coronavirus pandemic, the last season ended last week with the final of Champions League being played on August 23.

But eventually, the Argentina international took a a U-turn and decided to remain at the club till the end of the next season. Citing that it would be impossible to pay the 700m euro release clause, Messi said he would complete his four-year contact.

He further added that he did not want to move court against the club which he had joined at the age of 13.