Lionel Messi reportedly has a clause in his newly-signed Barcelona contract that would see him leave Barcelona for nothing if Catalonia is granted independence and Barca were not in the Spanish, English, German or French leagues according to El Mundo. This report, however, is disputed by sources at Barcelona according to Sport, who say there is no political clause in the Argentine's contract stating his love for the club goes beyond any political concerns.
The initial belief was that Messi was protecting his future in case of Catalan independence in case the blaugranas were forced to play in a separate, more localised league with potentially no path to the Champions League and far fewer teams.
El Mundo explained how Messi would be free to walk away from his lifelong club without the need to pay the €700 million release clause in his contract.
That report suggests one of the points of friction in Messi's contract renewal talks was the point of Cataln independence. The situation, during negotiations, was one of grave uncertainty within the region with Catalonia unilaterally declaring independence. Javier Tebas said, at the time, that if Catalonia pushed forward with their desire to be their own independent state, Barcelona would have to find another league to play in.
Messi renewed for four seasons last November with the Catalan club and put any doubts over his immediate future to bed.