Lionel Messi can be leaving Barcelona for free; here's why

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Spanish giants, Barcelona on Sunday cemented their position at the top of LaLiga table after beating Levante 3-0 at home.

The Catalans are still unbeaten in La Liga this season and have Philippe Coutinho to come in, with the Brazilian expected to be officially unveiled as a Barcelona player on Monday following the announcement of his 160 million-euro ($192 million) move from Liverpool.

The report claims that if Barcelona were to leave the Spanish top flight and were unable to join the English, German or French leagues, Messi would be free to leave Camp Nou.

In a scenario where Catalonia does become independent, according to FIFA legislation, Barca will have to change federations, which not only effects Messi, but other players in the club too.

Paulinho added the gloss to the scoreline late on, converting from close range after Messi's fine dribble and cross.

It was Messi who broke the deadlock from a Jordi Alba assist, a combination that has proved fruitful on so many occasions this season.

Suarez struck his fifth goal in four games running by controlling a cross from Sergi Roberto and slamming the ball high into the net in the 38th minute.

In the second-half, Barca did struggle to kick on and they almost conceded when Levante right-back Shaquell Moore broke through into the box. "In the first half we were better than in the second and that is why it took us until the end to put the game to bed".

Suarez wasted a couple of chances to make Barca's victory more comfortable and forward Jose Arnaiz was handed a league debut in the last five minutes.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Alex Vidal were among the household names that appeared in a stream of snaps on the La Liga side's Instagram story on Friday.

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