Lionel Messi confirms that he is leaving Barcelona after 21 years, with an emotional speech at his farewell news conference on Sunday morning.
According to Messi, despite the club’s financial regulations issue with La Liga, he was convinced [together with his family] that they were going to stay.
He reveals that he offered to cut down his salary by 50% and Barca didn’t ask for anything else — it wasn’t enough; while adding that he did everything he could.
He stated “I arrived very young, at the age of 13, and I left 21 years later with my wife and three Catalan-Argentine children. I have no doubt that after a few years out, we will return here. This is our home.”
“I never imagined saying goodbye because I didn’t think about it. I would have liked to be done with the public. It’s difficult,” the Barcelona legend added.
Messi reveals that he didn’t want to stay at Camp Nou last season however, he wanted to stay this season and thought every issue was sorted out.
Messi’s Emotional News Conference to Mark End of an Era at Barcelona pic.twitter.com/OZk8L8MM4n
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“I did everything I could because I wanted to stay. Last year, I didn’t want to stay and I said it. This year I wanted to stay and I couldn’t.
I thought it was all sorted, all agreed. Then at the last moment, it was not possible due to La Liga’s issue. That is what happened,” he reaffirms.
He received a standing ovation from colleague players and some staff who were present at the news conference.
Messi played 778 games, scored 672 goals, gave 305 assists, won 10 La Liga, 7 Copa del Rey, 7 Supercopa de Espana, 4 Champions League, 3 Super Cup, 3 Club World Cup, and 6 Ballon d’Or.