Messi bids farewell as his time at Barcelona comes to an end: ‘I didn’t want to leave this club’

Argentinean icon Lionel Messi says goodbye to Barcelona after 21 years at the club

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Argentinian player Lionel Messi was in tears as he addressed a press conference prior to his exits from Barcelona FC.

"This year, my family and I were convinced we were going to stay at home, that's what we all wanted more than anything," Messi said.

Messi, regarded as one of the best, if not the best, player to grace the beautiful game will be leaving his boyhood club after 21 years playing for Barcelona.

Contract extension discussions between Messi and the club were ended due to financial fair play restrictions imposed by La Liga.

"I did everything possible and the club, Laporta, they couldn't do it because of La Liga," he said. "We thought we would be staying in Barcelona. The time we have had here has been amazing."  

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner, who is one of the favourites for this year’s prestigious award, said he had offered to reduce his wages by 50%, and had travelled to Barcelona expecting to agree on the details of the announcement of his new five-year deal.

"I'm not ready for this. And honesty, with all the nonsense with the burofax, I was convinced of what I wanted to say,” Messi said.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta blamed Messi's exit on the former regime at the club in addition to La Liga spending rules, which had thwarted any hopes of the Argentinian staying in Catalonia.

Asked if a move to PSG will be his next move, Messi said: "That is one possibility”.

"I've got nothing confirmed with anybody. I had a lot of calls, a lot of interested clubs. At the moment, nothing is closed, but we are talking about a lot of things," Messi said.

The Paris club are rumoured to be offering Messi a two-year deal worth €25 million after tax, with option of a further year.