Lionel Messi has at last told Barcelona that he wants to leave the club and will activate a clause to end unilaterally his contract, according to TyC Sports.
His decision to call time on his career at Barcelona comes following the most embarrassing defeat he has suffered while playing for the club, losing 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-final to Bayern Munich.
It was after that game that rumours started to circulate that Messi had come to the end of his tether at Barça, as journalist Marcelo Bechler, the man who first broke the news that Neymar would move to PSG, reported that Messi wanted a move.
It is a situation that neither the club nor Messi ever wanted to happen.
He would happily spend the rest of his career at the Camp Nou if he had any faith in the board to oversee the sort of changes the club has needed for a while.
But having dragged Barcelona to title wins in 2018 and 2019, not with the help of the board's recruitment but in spite of it, he does not owe them anything more.
He has given his best years to the club, has not won a Champions League for five years, and does not want to waste any more time at a club going through a rebuild as his legs begin to wane.
Where he goes now is another matter, but there will not be a shortage of takers for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago