Messi is leaving Barca: How social media reacted

It was the news many had prepared for mere months ago, yet as the new LaLiga season approached and whispers circulated of an agreement on a new contract between Barcelona and Lionel Messi, no one expected the bombshell that dropped on Thursday: Messi will not return to the Catalan club.

Breathe. Deep breaths, Barca fans. Remember the good times.

With that sentimentality out of the way, social media quickly moved on to what really matters: Where will the Argentina captain play next? The transfer market has become the beating heart of soccer summers, and Twitter’s pulse raced in reaction to Barca’s bombshell.

Fans around the world quickly tagged their favourite clubs in desperate pleas to go get Messi, and teams made their cases for why the 34-year-old should join them.

We’ve got our money on the Lakers.