You’d think Barcelona would want their greatest ever player to help promote their new home kit.
But Lionel Messi was a notable absentee from Barca’s official website and social media posts as the Spanish club released their home kit for the 2021/22 season.
It’s understood Barca are confident they can get the Argentine to sign a new deal but the cold hard facts at this stage are that he will leave the club when his contract expires on June 30 for absolutely nothing.
Messi tried to engineer a Camp Nou exit last summer, however, the departure which would have sent shockwaves across football fell through.
The 33-year-old has been linked with a number of top clubs, including Premier League champions Manchester City for the best part of a year.
Barcelona presented their new shirt at the Camp Nou on Tuesday at a special event, with starlet Ansu Fati among players from the men and women’s team in attendance.
While it was no surpise that Messi wasn’t there – he’s playing for Argentina in the Copa America after all – he does not feature in any of the promotion for it.
Instead, Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Gerard Pique were the players chosen to front the new jersey.
You can still buy shirts with Messi on the back but the fact there isn’t any trace of him with their new kit suggests he may well not be a Barca player for much longer.
On the new kit, the club said on their website: “Barca’s new strip makes the maximum use of the club crest.
“On the front, at chest height, fans will find the St George Cross, representing the patron saint of Barcelona and the Senyera (the striped Catalan flag).
“Two elements that define the club’s identity and its ties to city and country, but reimagined in this particular instance in the famous Blaugrana colours, while the traditional vertical stripes feature below, albeit somewhat stylised to give them a more modern look.”