Now Barcelona have announced that all-time top scorer Lionel Messi will be leaving this summer after failing to agree the terms of a new contract.
Messi has been at the club since he was 13 years old.
During that time, he has helped the team win more than 30 trophies and forged a reputation as one of the greatest players of all time.
Tanya Dendrinos has this report.
In the eyes of many, he's the greatest footballer of all times,
a god amongst men for those who view the beautiful game as somewhat of a religion.
It didn't take long for despondent fans to gather outside Camp Nou, with news of Lionel Messi's departure hit home.
It's a soap opera from last summer to this summer,
and it's finished in a harsh way for the fans and the Barca club members.
It should have finished in a year without the pandemic, with people filling in the stadium and the whole of Spain applauding his presence.
The 34-year-old has been a free agent since the 1st of July when his contract expired.
Two weeks later, he agreed a new deal with reduced wages,
but it was still dependent on Barca selling players to afford his salary.
The shocking blow came on Thursday when Barcelona announced Messi's 21-year association with the club would be ending,
putting the blame on financial and structural obstacles imposed by the La Liga.
It's a big loss, and football will generate less money, and we have less important players. We will notice that.