It may be the end of an era with Barcelona, but Lionel Messi is getting serious love from his longtime teammates on Tuesday … after the international soccer superstar has asked the club to terminate his contract.
The earth-shattering news broke hours ago … with arguably the greatest player on the planet sending a letter to Barca asking to be released from his contract, citing a clause that could make him available at the end of the season.
It’s a HUGE deal — 33-year-old Messi has been with Barcelona since 2001, winning 10 La Liga titles and 4 Champions League titles.
Messi’s also won the Ballon d’Or 6 times with Barca … the most any player has ever earned in a career.
While Messi is prepped to leave the only pro club he’s ever known, his teammates are taking the news in stride … wishing the forward the best of luck in the future.
“Respect and admiration, Leo,” Carles Puyol said on Twitter. “All my support, friend.”
Luis Suarez — Messi’s teammate since 2014 — echoed Puyol’s message with a couple clapping emojis.
Messi wanting out isn’t all that shocking to some, especially coming off an embarrassing season … but it’s still crazy to think about the guy in a new uniform.
The break-up might be a bit messy, however … there are reports Messi’s clause may have expired back in June … which would require an $826 MILLION buyout.