It was the news many had prepared for mere months ago, yet as the new LaLiga season approached and whispers circulated of an agreement on a new contract between Barcelona and Lionel Messi, no one expected the bombshell that dropped on Thursday: Messi will not return to the Catalan club.
Breathe. Deep breaths, Barca fans. Remember the good times.
Thank you, Leo. pic.twitter.com/cdS9xWe8Me— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 5, 2021
With that sentimentality out of the way, social media quickly moved on to what really matters: Where will the Argentina captain play next? The transfer market has become the beating heart of soccer summers, and Twitter's pulse raced in reaction to Barca's bombshell.
Where to next for Lionel Messi? 🤯 pic.twitter.com/6c2iZ9xE5V— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 5, 2021
C'mon Messi ya rasta— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) August 5, 2021
Fans around the world quickly tagged their favourite clubs in desperate pleas to go get Messi, and teams made their cases for why the 34-year-old should join them.
RIP to every team's notifications— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) August 5, 2021
If you spam "Announce Messi" enough, you can manifest this into existence. Thems the rules. 👇 pic.twitter.com/TJwiSk2PKQ— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) August 5, 2021
Fab we told you to keep it quiet before we announced it 😏— Bray Wanderers FC (@BrayWanderers) August 5, 2021
Hey Messi... we think you'd fit right in pic.twitter.com/mmNJr4upb5— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) August 5, 2021
Lakers fans hearing the news about Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona 😂😅 pic.twitter.com/FMZdDZNPuF— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 5, 2021
We've got our money on the Lakers.