Consequences Lionel Messi Could Face If He Loses Legal Battle Against Barca

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Spanish legal experts Agustin Amoros Martinez and Francisco Dominguez explained the consequences of Leo Messi’s potential legal battle against Barcelona, stating the player’s position is not so solid.

Why Messi’s position is weak?

Leo Messi reportedly wants to leave Barcelona for free, referring to the exit clause in his contract which allows him to unilaterally terminate his contract after each season.

Yet, the Catalan club insists the said clause expired on June 10, 20 days before the contractual end of the season.

According to Spanish law, the legal interpretation of the wording comes first which leaves Leo with nothing.

But what about the coronavirus crisis?

Messi’s legal team claims the 2019-2020 campaign was extended due to the coronavirus pandemic which saw Barca ending their season on August 14 when they lost to Bayern in the Champions League.

In this case, Leo should have informed the club he wanted to leave 20 days before this date while he reportedly did it only on August 25.

If Leo loses the case, what could be the consequences?

Messi has a €700m release clause in his contract, so if he leaves for free he would have to pay the exact €700m as a fine, according to both the FIFA rules and Spanish laws.

FIFA would also hand him a six-month ban which means he wouldn’t be able to play for any club he would join for this period of time.

No indulgences for Leo?

As for the civil law, there is still hope the court may find the €700m release clause as ‘abusive’, preventing the player from leaving rather than showing his real value.

Moreover, Leo is now entering the final year of his contract, so the court may have the right to reduce the penalty, possibly down to €500m which is still very high.

Any risks for Messi’s future club?

Any side landing Leo for free, be it Manchester City, Inter or Paris Saint-Germain, are at risk of facing a two-window transfer ban as a result of the court decision, according to the FIFA rules.

Moreover, his future club would have to pay the €700m (or €500m) fine if Messi wasn’t able to do it himself.

Yet, there are doubts whether a non-Spanish entity would be responsible if the matter is taken to the national court.


Both Messi and his future club are at high risk of a huge financial and sporting penalty if they attempt to conclude a free transfer.

Leo’s only way out is either to pay off his €700m release clause or to negotiate with Barca over the terms of the transfer.