Lionel Messi-Barcelona Transfer Saga: From Josep Bartomeu Not Keeping His Word to Refusing Trial, Here’s What Argentine Said in an Emotional Interview

Lionel Messi shocked the world when he expressed his desire of leaving Barcelona and the made the club aware of his decision through a burofax. However, after weeks of speculations regarding the Argentine’s future in Catalonia, the 33-year-old decided to continue at the Spanish side and will at least see out his current contract with the club which ends in 2021. Lionel Messi Fans Storm Twitter as Barcelona Captain Agrees to Continue His Ties With Spanish Football Club.

Lionel Messi, who spent 20 years at Barcelona, wanted to leave on a free transfer in the summer but changed his decision after the club refused to let him go stating that the clause which allowed to let the Argentine leave for free expired in June. Following this saga, Lionel Messi opened up about his choice to remain put during an interview with Goal, saying that he did not want to take the club he loves to court. Lionel Messi to Stay at Barcelona to Avoid Legal Battle, Gives up Fight to Shift to Transfer to Manchester City.

‘I’ll continue at Barcelona and my attitude won’t change, no matter how much I have wanted to go. I told the club, the president, that I wanted to go. I’ve been telling him all year. I thought my time in Barcelona was over, sadly – I always wanted to finish my career here.’ Said the Barcelona skipper.

Watch Ful Interview

‘It was a very difficult year, I suffered a lot in training, in games and in the dressing room. The president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end, he did not end up keeping his word.’

Lionel Messi also opened about the way the club is being led by Josep Bartomeu in recent seasons and revealed that he was hurt when his love for Barcelona was questioned by several people. ‘I wanted a winning project and to win titles with the club to continue expanding the legend of Barcelona. The truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover holes as things go by.’

‘I feel hurt by things that I heard from people, from journalism, from people questioning my Barcelonismo. It also helped me to see who is who. There are many very false people. It hurt me when my love for this club was questioned. My love for Barca will never change.’

‘The president always told me ‘when the season is over, you decide if you stay or leave. But he never set a date. The burofax was simply to make it official that he was not following the rules, not to get into a fight because I did not want to fight with the club.’

The only way out for Lionel Messi of Barcelona was to take them to court but the Argentine refused to take that route. ‘Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700 million (£624m/$823m) clause, and that this is impossible’

‘There was another way and it was to go to trial, I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, which gave me everything since I arrived. It is the club of my life, I have made my life here. I know that it never crossed my mind to take Barca to court’ He added.

The Argentine also opened up about how the situation affected his family. ‘Mateo is still little and he doesn’t realise what it means to go somewhere else and make your life a few years elsewhere, Thiago, he is older. He heard something on TV and found out something and asked. He cried to me and said ‘let’s not go’. I repeat that it was hard, really.’ He said.

‘My son, my family, they grew up here and are from here. There was nothing wrong with wanting to leave. I needed it, the club needed it and it was good for everyone. My wife, with all the pain of her soul, supported and accompanied me.’

Lionel Messi will now prepare for the upcoming season under new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman, who was appointed after the club’s exit from the Champions League. The 33-year-old will have to make a decision about his future once again when his contract expires next season.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 05, 2020 10:42 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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