The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has expressed his regret after being forced to cut short his time with the Blaugrana due to a breakdown in contract talks.
Lionel Messi was in floods of tears at his final press conference as a Barcelona player as he confirmed that a move to Paris Saint-Germain is a possibility.
After his contract with Barcelona expired in June, Messi became a free agent, and the club acknowledged on Friday that they were unable to re-sign him owing to “financial and structural hurdles.”.
The Blaugrana were unable to re-sign the 34-year-old without breaching La Liga’s pay ceiling, forcing their talismanic skipper to seek new employment, and he says that the situation has come as a complete shock to him.
What has been stated so far?
“This is very difficult, I was not prepared for this. Last year I was convinced to leave, but this year we were going to stay, my family and I wanted to continue here, in our house,” said Messi.
“After 21 years I’m leaving with my three Catalan-Argentine kids. We’ve lived in this city, this is our home. I’m just really grateful for everything, all my team-mates, everyone who has been by my side.
“I gave everything for this club from the first day I arrived to the last. I never imagined having to say goodbye as I didn’t think about it. What’s clear is I did everything possible, and they (Barca) couldn’t do it because of La Liga.
“A lot of things have been said about me, but on my behalf we did everything I could because I wanted to stay. Last year I didn’t want to stay and I said it. This year I did and I couldn’t.
“I love this club. Without seeing the fans for over a year-and-a-half has been very hard. If I had imagined it [his leaving speech] I would’ve imagined the Camp Nou full and being able to say goodbye properly.”
Is Messi set to join PSG?
When asked if speculations that Paris Saint-Germain is his most probable next destination are genuine, the Argentine replied, “Yes, Paris Saint-Germain is a possibility.”
“At the moment, nothing is confirmed; I had a lot of calls following the Barcelona comment, and we’re discussing it.”