Lionel Messi was noticeably absent from the introduction of FC Barcelona's new home kit on Tuesday, and the reason for his absence has finally been disclosed, according to reports.
The Catalan giants introduced their new home uniform for the 2021/22 season earlier this week, with just Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig taking part in the event, while Gerard Pique, Antoine Griezmann, Sergi Roberto, and Pedri were seen modeling the outfit in promotional material.
Players from the club's reserve team and the women's team, who just won the UEFA Women's Champions League, were also present during the unveiling.
With many fans asking why club captain and talisman Lionel Messi was not present at the event, Spanish website El Mundo Deportivo has now revealed that the images were shot on March 19, before to the start of the ongoing contract negotiations between the Argentine and the club.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is the only first-team Blaugrana player whose contract expires next month, and he has yet to sign a new contract with the club where he has spent his entire professional career.
According to the latest reports on Messi's future at the Camp Nou, he is expected to sign a new two-year contract with the Catalan club, while Major League Soccer club Inter Miami, which is partly owned by David Beckham, is attempting to persuade the player to move to the United States after his current contract expires.
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