5 bitter football 'break-ups' akin to Messi and Barca's

Five bitter football 'break-ups' akin to Messi and Barcelona's

It's a hard time for Messi fans as he walks away from Barcelona after 17 years and several accolades

Fans outside the Camp Nou stadium. Credit: AFP Photo

Football is not just a sport for those who follow it religiously - it is a major part of their lives. The ups and downs of a football club are the highs and lows of their loyal supporters as well.

With Messi calling it quits with Barcelona after 17 long years, here is a look at five other emotional break-ups between legendary footballers and their clubs.

Read more: Messi agrees to PSG's two-year contract: Reports

Iker Casillas

In one of the most tear-jerking departures in the history of football, Spain’s World Cup legend Iker Casillas was forced to exit Real Madrid in 2015 by Florentino Perez. Regarded as one of the world’s best goalkeepers at one time, Casillas witnessed a dip in form due to age. His farewell is still a very sensitive point for fans of the club. However, he does not seem to harbour any more ill feelings. since he is often seen cheering on for Real during important matches on his social media.

David Beckham

In 2003, then Manchester United star, David Beckham was slowly falling from Sir Alex Ferguson’s good books with his poor performance. Fergie had even flung a boot at him once in the dressing room. After a breakdown of their relationship, Becks was sent packing to Madrid, where he joined the iconic team of ‘Galacticos’. A move to Spain had been linked with him all through his final season at Old Trafford.

Ricardo Kaka

2013 was a sad year for Madridistas as Kaká parted ways with the club. The legend had penned down a letter, addressing how his injuries, dropping performance, and coach was affecting his stay in Real Madrid. His relationship with the then coach Mourinho was reportedly the main cause for his exit.

Luis Figo

Camp Nou’s ‘Judas’ and Bernabeu’s hero, Figo enraged Barcelona fans in 2000 by joining their arch-nemesis Real Madrid. Such was the hatred for Figo in Barcelona that a pig head was thrown at him during one of the El Clasico matches since he joined the Blancos.

Carlos Tevez

In another case of football ‘high treason,’ Tevez sparked outrage by becoming the first player to move from Manchester United to their derby rival Manchester City in 2009. The latter club even put up a signboard boasting his arrival right in Machester City centre.