The shock news suggests that Messi, who recently signed a contract to keep him in Catalonia until June 2021 and with a buyout clause of €700m, has a clause written in to ward against Catalonian independence.
Should the region become independent of Spain, as many of its inhabitants desire, there would be many questions about what would happen to FC Barcelona. Would the Blaugrana continue to play in La Liga? Or would they perhaps join the French Ligue 1, or even the Premier League?
According to Messi’s contract those questions are vital, because if the legendary Argentinian would be set to miss out on playing in one of Europe’s top four leagues, then he would be eligible to leave for free.
The diminutive forward has scored over 500 goals for Barcelona, helping the club to win eight Liga titles and four Champions Leagues during his time there.
With five Ballon d’Ors also to his name, Messi is without a doubt an all-time great, but there is something slightly smusing about the fact that a vote for Catalan independence could see him depart the club where he has made himself into an idol.