Messi breaks silence on Barcelona leaving saga: ‘The president did not keep his word’
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi breaks silence and will be staying at FC Barcelona for another season, revealing a long-standing disagreement with the president of the club.
Lionel Messi breaks silence on why he sought to leave his all-life club Barcelona, revealing to Goal in a one-to-one talk, a long-running disagreement with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu regarding his future at Camp Nou and the overall direction of the Liga giants in past few years where they saw elimination from Champions League.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner shook up the football world at the end of August when he dropped a bomb in the shape of leaving Barcelona in the transfer window to another club for new ambitions and challenges.
After losing ignominiously in the Champions League by a hammering 2-8 by Bayern Munich in the knockout stage. The bomb fired by Messi leaving the club pilled more pressure and chaos in FC Barcelona.
Leo Messi stays at Barcelona
The embarrassing defeat to Bayern in the Quarter Finals of Champions League was not the reason for Messi’s drastic action all-of-sudden to leave the club, though it was certainly a bitter blow. In actual fact, the internal talk of an exit from Barcelona has been ongoing for a year or more.
“I told the club, including the president, that I wanted to go. I’ve been telling him that all year. I believed it was time to step aside”, Messi breaks silence and told Goal in an interview.
“I believed that the club needed more young players, new players and I thought my time in Barcelona was over. I felt very sorry because I always said that I wanted to finish my career here.”
“It was a very difficult year, I suffered a lot in training, in games and in the dressing room. Everything became very difficult for me and there came a time when I considered looking for new ambitions”, Messi breaks silence.
“It did not come because of the Champions League result against Bayern, no – I had been thinking about the decision for a long time.”
“I told the president and, well, 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 keep his word”, Messi breaks silence.
The act of sending the infamous burofax to the club outlining his position became something of an embarrassment for figures around the club, with former Barca vice-president Jordi Mestre notably declaring “the best player in history does not leave with a burofax!”
However Messi has insisted that it was not done with the intention of creating a bitter dispute, but to make his position – that he wanted to leave – official. Indeed, the Argentine is of the belief that it would simply have been business, as usual, had he not taken that step.
“Throughout the year I had been telling the president that I wanted to leave, that the time had come to seek new goals and new directions in my career,” Messi breaks silence and explained the situation.
“He told me all the time: ‘We’ll talk, not now, this and that’, but nothing. The president did not give me a clue at what he was really saying. Sending the burofax was making it official that I wanted to go and that I was free and the optional year – I was not going to use it and I wanted to go.”
“It was not to make a mess, or to go against the club, but the way to make it official because my decision had been made.”
He added in the red-hot exit saga: “If I don’t send the burofax, it’s like nothing happens, I have the optional year I had to have continued all year”, Messi breaks silence.
Messi: My love for Barcelona will never change
“What they say is that I did not say it before June 10 – but I repeat, we were in the middle of all the competitions and it was not the moment.”
“But apart from that, the president always told me ‘when the season is over, you decide if you stay or leave’, he never set a date, and well, it was simply to make it official that I wouldn’t continue, but not to start a fight because I didn’t want to fight against the club”, Messi breaks silence.
For most fans of FC Barcelona and Messi all-across-the-globe, the thought of Messi leaving Barca for another club was really astonishing and shocked the footballing world.
“Of course I had a hard time deciding. It does not come from the Bayern result, it comes from many things,” he stressed out on the decision about leaving Barcelona.
“I always said I wanted to end here and I always said I wanted to stay here. That I wanted a winning project and to win titles with the club, to continue expanding the legend of Barcelona.”
“And the truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover holes as things go by. As I said before, I always thought about the welfare of my family and the club”, Messi breaks silence on Barcelona leaving saga.
Now, as he stays for another year at Camp Nou to entertain the fans in stands. It is a matter of time that either is he going to end his illustrious career at Barcelona or will he head towards new challenge?