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Soccer superstar Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona after contract talks fail

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Lionel Messi will leave FC Barcelona after discussions to renew his contact failed due to "Financial and structural obstacles," the soccer club confirmed Thursday. Messi signed with the club at age 13 through their youth program, La Masia. Messi's latest contract with FC Barcelona, which was signed in 2017, is valued at $675 million. The club claimed he had a "Clear intention" to sign a new contract on Thursday. Last month, Messi reportedly reached a verbal agreement to a five-year contract extension at Barcelona, with new terms that include a salary reduction by 50%. Messi officially became a free agent on July 1 after he failed to agree on terms over a contract renewal before his previous contract ended on June 30. Messi is one of the most prolific goal scorers in history. According to soccer statistics site, Messi holds the all-time record of scoring 474 goals in La Liga matches.

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