We never thought this day would come. Lionel Messi never thought this day would come. His Barcelona career is over.
The Argentine took to the stage on Sunday to say goodbye to the club he joined 21 years ago, and the emotions were running high. He was desperately looking for a tissue before he had even started speaking.
It really is the end of an era. Apart from Argentina, nobody has ever seen Messi represent any other team. He’s been reigning supreme at Camp Nou for the last 16 years.
Fans were eager to pay tribute to Messi, remembering some of his best moments in a Barcelona shirt and recalling the first time they ever laid eyes on the diminutive attacker.
As you can imagine, a lot of the narrative on social media revolved around Messi’s future.
The situation wasn’t helped by a report emerging while he was on stage suggesting he had agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain and was ready to hop straight on a plane for a medical after he was done saying goodbye.
Messi denied those claims in his press conference, but that didn’t change anything.
The response on Twitter wasn’t all positive, however.
Messi may have a lot of fans, but there are just as many critics of the Argentine, and some felt his departure from Barcelona was being blown out of proportion somewhat.
Having said that, at the end of the day, the overwhelming message on Twitter was one of gratitude and sadness that such an important era in football was coming to a close.
778 games. 672 goals. Ten La Liga titles. Four Champions Leagues.
The next time Messi kicks a ball, he’ll be wearing a new shirt, and Twitter wasn’t ready for that.