Lionel Messi ‘wanted to stay’ says Barcelona president
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Lionel Messi is poised to join PSG, with the Barcelona icon potentially completing his move to France today. The Argentina international will move to the Parc des Princes on a free transfer after leaving the La Liga giants behind. And he’s already broken his silence over a potential exit.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Messi shed light on his exit.
When asked whether he thought he’d be staying, he said: “It’s everything that Laporta said.
“We had everything agreed but, at the last minute, it couldn’t happen [Messi staying at Barcelona]. I’ve heard lots of things being said about me, this year I wanted to stay and I couldn’t. Last year I didn’t want to stay, and I said it.
“This year I wanted to stay. I did everything possible but the club couldn’t do it because of La Liga.
“We have to take it and move forward.”
Messi made it clear, too, that he did everything in his power to stay at Barcelona.
THINK YOU KNOW SPORT? Test your sporting knowledge with our tricky quiz
“I don’t know, what I have very clear is that I did everything I could,” when asked on whether the Catalan titans tried their hardest to keep him.
“From my side, I did everything to stay, that is what I wanted.”
Messi also did confirm PSG were an option, directly addressing a question about the Ligue 1 giants by saying: “It is a possibility, but I have not agreed anything with anyone.
“I have different clubs who are interested. And nothing is definitive but clearly we are talking to them.”
Messi shut down suggestions he’d had his head turned after dining with PSG players the previous evening, with images shared on social media.
“Pure coincidence,” he said.
Man Utd set Kane price by Tottenham chief Levy ‘convinced’
Barcelona’s strong XI with Ronaldo and two other signings
Arsenal’s amazing squad if Edu seals six more deals
“I was going to meet Paredes and Di Maria. Ney (Neymar) called me, come over. And I said, I am with Paredes and Di Maria.
“Come over all of you, Ney said. We took photos, they kept telling me, come over to PSG and we joked, that was all.”
On whether this was the hardest moment of his career, Messi agreed – and admitted it hurt him far more than any defeat.
And he also opened up on the legacy he’d leave behind, having been at the club since joining at the tender age of 18.
“No doubt, this is the hardest moment,” said the 34-year-old, who is set to sign a two-year contract over in France.
“We had hurtful defeats but football gives you a chance to avenge that. But there is no turning point to this.
Do you want an exclusive pre-season preview for YOUR club – both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to find out more and secure your copy.
“I feel very sad now as I have to leave a club that I love. I did not expect this.
“I always told the truth. Last year I wanted to leave, this year I did not want to leave.
“The squad is great, other players will arrive, players come and go, the club is more important than anyone as Laporta said.
“People will get used to it. It might be strange to start but they will get used to it.
“The reality is that after the elections, I went for lunch with the new president and we spoke and after that meal I was convinced that I was going to stay and there would be no problem to do so.
“My contract was never a problem. But it was not possible.”
La Liga rules mean Barcelona can’t register Messi to play for them, even if he was to earn nothing for doing so.
And when asked about what he’d say to La Liga chief Javier Tebas, Messi insisted he had nothing to say.
He said: “I know we couldn’t agree because of La Liga, the club debt and the club did not want to increase the debt.
“I have nothing to say to him, I have no problem with him.
“When I heard about it it was like a cold shower. It was hard to hear it. We are still getting used to it in whatever way we can. When I leave here today it will be even harder.
“But my people will be close and I will continue playing football. When it all starts it’ll feel better.”
Source: Read Full Article