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No, Lionel Messi hasn’t left FC Barcelona for Manchester City – photo manipulated

A Facebook post shared in Nigeria appears to show FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi signing to rival football club Manchester City

A photo shows Messi holding the number 10 jersey of the English football club, flanked by the club’s coach, Pep Guardiola, and its chief executive officer, Ferran Soriano. The photo is captioned: “Manchester new signing.” 

There have been rumours that Messi, six-time world footballer of the year, is looking to leave FC Barcelona. The Argentina-born player has been with the club since 2005, but the Spanish club crashed out of the UEFA Champions League in 2020 following a humiliating 2-8 loss. 

Did a fed-up Messi then sign with Manchester City in August and take the number 10 jersey, as the photo on Facebook seems to show?

Photoshopped from 2018 signing of another player

If it’s not clear from the fuzzy, low-resolution photo, a reverse image search reveals that the photo has been doctored.

Messi’s head has been copied onto a photo of Algerian national team captain Riyad Mahrez. Mahrez was bought by Manchester City from Leicester City Football Club in July 2018, and the original photo indicates this. 

The number 22 on Mahrez’s jersey was replaced with 10 in the photoshopped image shared on Facebook. It’s fake and isn’t evidence that FC Barcelona is losing Messi just yet. – Allwell Okpi


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