The burofax sent by Lionel Messi to Josep Maria Bartomeu, informing the Barcelona president of his intention to leave the club in August 2020, has been published in the Spanish press.
On 24 August 2020, the Argentine sent the message to the then-president, explaining that he was planning to trigger a clause in his contract that would allow him to walk away from the club for free at the end of the month.
Ultimately, a legal technicality over the finish date of the season, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, meant that Messi was unable to trigger the clause in his contract. He eventually left the club 12 months later, but under very different circumstances.
But the burofax he signed and sent to Barça has been unearthed by Mundo Deportivo, revealing the specific terms and conditions he stated to the Catalan giants.
"Dear Mr. Bartomeu," the burofax read.
"Hereby, and in accordance with the provisions of clause 3.1 of the contract dated November 25, 2017, I hereby express my wish to terminate my employment contract as a professional footballer with effect from August 30, 2020.
"I understand that the time frame of the right of unilateral termination without cause regulated by the aforementioned clause must be interpreted in accordance with the exceptional circumstances in which the 2019/20 football competition season has taken place, due to the state of emergency and the situation of force majeure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Due to these exceptional circumstances, the 2019/20 competition season ended yesterday, without prejudice to the fact that for our team, this end took place on August 15, when we returned to Barcelona after our elimination from the Champions League on the night of August 14.
"In any case, within 10 days following the end of the season of competition, and thus meeting the agreed deadline for exercising the aforementioned clause 3.1., in accordance with the material contract of our agreement, which must be interpreted in accordance with the exceptional circumstances of the 2019/20 season, I exercise my right to terminate the contract with effect from August 30, 2020, with the consequences provided for in the aforementioned stipulation 3.1.
"Lionel Andres Messi."
Messi left Barça this summer, after the club's financial issues meant they couldn't register their icon for the upcoming season. The Argentine joined Paris Saint-Germain, where he has been awarded a hero's welcome.