Football: Lionel Messi's departure from Barcelona is a mess everyone could see coming

Lionel Messi's deal at Barcelona expired at the end of June. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

BARCELONA (NYTIMES) - FC Barcelona cannot say it was not warned.

It is not yet a year since the last time a curt communique from Camp Nou declared that Lionel Messi's long affair with the only club he has ever played for was over, and yet here we are again, the greatest player on this planet and also, according to all available evidence, any other, slipping from its grasp. To come so close to losing Messi once might be regarded as unfortunate. To do so twice looks an awful lot like carelessness.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.