Even though it had been hinted at on more then a couple of occasions in 2020 alone, Tuesday's bombshell news that Lionel Messi has informed Barcelona of his desire to leave the club has left the sports world in a state of shock. And the sports world, and the world beyond sport, has weighed in on the matter: how this happened, why this happened, and where the six-time Ballon d'Or winner will go next.
With voices from all corners of the world sharing their thoughts on Messi's situation, ESPN rounded up a sampling of the social media reactions to news of the Barca captain's potential exit from the Camp Nou.
👏👏— Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) August 25, 2020
Way Messi has asked to leave feels pretty old school. Barcelona say Messi sent a "burofax" asking to leave the club. I had to google "burofax". It is a real thing.— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) August 25, 2020
And so the destruction is complete.— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) August 25, 2020
Catalunya serà sempre casa teva. Moltes gràcies per tots aquest temps de felicitat i d'un futbol extraordinari. Hem tingut la sort de compartir uns anys de les nostres vides amb el millor jugador del món. I un noble esportista No t'oblidarem mai. Leo Messi, Creu de Sant Jordi. pic.twitter.com/Ojev577MoE— Quim Torra i Pla (@QuimTorraiPla) August 25, 2020
Very quickly, though, attention turned to where Messi would land next. For such a heralded player who's spent 20 years at the same club, the club he joined as a 13-year-old, naturally the transfer gossip went into overdrive.
Messi... pic.twitter.com/mlyP85ahhZ— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 25, 2020
If Messi comes to the prem and the stadiums are empty it will be a travesty 😩— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) August 25, 2020
Give Messi the Beckham franchise fee discount post retirement and let's play some soccer.— Mike Magee (@magee18) August 25, 2020
should we hit Messi with a "wyd" text?— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) August 25, 2020
Just looking through old photos pic.twitter.com/JuuXEdm7xf— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) August 25, 2020
Inter is a possibility and Conte just said he's coming back maybe they know something....MLS won't be before '22 World Cup unless Adidas or some other entity makes a can't refuse offer...like Beckham to LA. https://t.co/t5sqUfmkR4— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) August 25, 2020
What if Inter convinced Antonio Conte to stay by *gasp* secretly telling him they would sign Lionel Messi?!?— Matteo Bonetti (@BonettiESPN) August 25, 2020
I think Lionel Messi should move to Mars and play for the Red Planet. The real test of his G.O.A.T credentials will come when he adjusts to an atmosphere that's only 0.174% oxygen.— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) August 25, 2020