LEGENDARY footballer Lionel Messi, 34, confirmed he was leaving FC Barcelona after 21 years with the Club, as their all-time goal scorer — with a total of 682 goals.
Messi was the recipient of The BrandLaureate Legendary Award in November 2017.
During the press conference, the tearful footballer was greeted with a lengthy standing ovation from the media, current and former teammates and coaches in attendance.
Hundreds of fans, many wearing his No. 10 jerseys, massed outside Barca’s Camp Nou stadium to bid farewell to the player they called Messiah.
All the 35 trophies he won with the club were laid out for a private photo session after the news conference.
In July, Messi won the first Copa America with Argentina at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
It was Argentina’s first trophy since 1993 after defeating eternal rival Brazil 1-0 during the match.
Messi said his plan is to carry on playing as long as possible and hopes to win another Champions League trophy.
He is currently in negotiations with French club Paris St Germain over a possible move.
“As long as I go on being competitive and as long as my body responds (I’ll carry on playing),” he told the news conference.
Considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, Messi is the only player in history to win five FIFA Ballon d’Or awards and the first to win three European Golden Shoes.
#thebrandlaureaterecipient #LeoMessi #goodbye #barcelona #bestofthebest