Barcelona fans are still reeling from the shock of Lionel Messi's decision, as he announced that he wants to leave the club this summer. The Argentine has spent the entirety of his senior career at Barcelona and looked set to retire at the club as the greatest footballer of all time.
However, things have gone south quickly, and it remains likely that Lionel Messi will leave the Catalan giants in the coming weeks, with Manchester City frontrunners to secure his signature.
Fans of the club have taken to social media to vote for the club's greatest ever player, as around 73,000 of them cast their votes on ranker.com (via givemesport). Much to the astonishment of everyone involved, Lionel Messi did not come first, as he was pipped to top spot by another Barcelona legend.
Stoichkov surprisingly pips Lionel Messi to top spot
Bulgarian attacker Hristo Stoichkov, who had two spells with the club in the 90s, surprisingly topped the list. Lionel Messi and Stoichkov were joined in the top five by Johan Cruyff, Ronaldinho and Andres Iniesta, while Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is 12th on the list.
The likes of Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Marc-Andre ter Stegen were also named in the top 20, while there was no space for Gerard Pique.
Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, who oversaw one of the most successful spells in the club's history as a manager and also represented the Catalans as a player, was named 18th on the list.
Lionel Messi is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time, but the Barcelona fans don't even think of him as their best-ever. Speculation about the Argentine's future has dominated the back pages in recent weeks, as he remains adamant that he wants to leave the club this summer.
Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus reportedly signalled their intentions to sign the 33-year-old, but reports suggest he has his heart set on a move to Manchester City.
Lionel Messi would reunite with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium if the move comes to fruition, and it remains to be seen if Barcelona agree to let him leave in the coming weeks.
Published 29 Aug 2020, 19:58 IST