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Messi can leave Barcelona for free at end of season

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Argentina maestro Lionel Messi can leave Barcelona on a free transfer at the end of the season as part of his contract clause, El Pais has reported.

El Pais claimed Messi has an agreement in his Barca deal that allows him to depart on June 30, at the end of each campaign.

Messi has extended his contract eight times since 2005 and it is understood in his last extension, in 2017, a clause was included which allows him to leave at the end of any season.

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However, it is thought the five-time Ballon d’Or winner can only walk out of Barca to join a team not in Europe.

The 32-year-old’s current deal runs out in 2021, and Messi has previously expressed interest in returning to Argentina with childhood club Newell’s Old Boys.

But yet to play this season, the Argentine’s absence is being felt to an extent rarely seen before at the Camp Nou.

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Barca icons Carles Puyol, Xavi and Andres Iniesta were all thought to have had similar agreements in their final years at Barca, allowing them to leave for free.

Xavi left the Nou Camp in Qatar in 2014 to join Al Sadd and retired in May.

Midfield partner Iniesta departed La Liga last year joining Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe.

MORE READING!  Iker Casillas retires

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Pedro undergoes surgery for shoulder injury

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Chelsea’s Spanish winger Pedro has had surgery, following a shoulder injury he sustained during Saturday’s FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal.

Pedro had replaced forward Christian Pulisic in the game which Chelsea lost 2-1, after the American, who scored in the first half, pulled up with a hamstring problem.

“The surgery went well, I will be back soon. It was a pity not to win the FA Cup. Thank you all for your support,” the 33-year-old Pedro said on Instagram on Tuesday.

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Pedro, whose Chelsea deal expires at the end of the month, has reportedly agreed a move to Italian Serie A side AS Roma on a free transfer.

Reuters

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Iker Casillas retires

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Spain’s World Cup-winning captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas announced his retirement from the professional game at the age of 39 on Tuesday.

The former Real Madrid skipper had called time on his five-year spell with side Porto in July after his contract with the Portuguese club expired.

Casillas had suffered a heart attack during a training session last year and has not played any competitive football since April 2019.

“The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not where it takes you, because that comes with work and effort alone, and I think I can say, without hesitation, that the path I have taken is the one I dreamt about #Thanks,” Casillas said on Twitter.

Casillas was given a role on Porto’s technical staff at the start of last season and was included in the first-team squad, although he was never named in a matchday squad.

MORE READING!  Iker Casillas retires

Reuters

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Emmanuel Adebayor names ‘best coach in history of football’ but it’s not Wenger

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Former Arsenal striker, Emmanuel Adebayor, has named Tottenham Hotspur coach, Jose Mourinho, as the best manager in the world.

Adebayor, who played under Mourinho during their time together at Real Madrid, has also featured under different great managers including, Arsene Wenger, Didier Deschamps, Harry Redknapp, Roberto Mancini and Mauricio Pochettinho in the past.

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But the Togolese star believes Mourinho is the best in history, adding that he won his only trophy in his career under the Portuguese at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“I love Mourinho, we had a great relationship, and he was the one who brought me to Madrid, although it wasn’t easy for him to find a place for me in the side,” Adebayor told AS.

“The only trophy I have ever won was at Madrid with him. Now he’s at Tottenham, and I wish him the best of luck. He is the best coach in the history of football.”

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