Lionel Messi will stay in Barcelona for yet another season. This puts a brake on all assumptions about where the Argentine would be heading after moving on from the Catalan side where he has been for 13 seasons.
Messi, who had sought transfer from FC Barcelona, confirmed to the Goal.com that he had changed his decision. The shift in his stand came after the club threatened to enforce a € 700 million exit clause. Messi’s team had said that he would be leaving the club for free. “I could never go to court against Barca,” the ace striker has told the Goal.com.
“I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not. Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered all the season.
“And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700 million (£624m) clause and that this is impossible.”
Messi wanted to pursue “new goals”. His insistence on leaving the club could have led to a legal battle. “There was another way (to leave) and it was to go to trial. I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, which gave me everything since I arrived,” he told the web portal.
“It is the club of my life, I have made my life here. Barca gave me everything and I gave it everything. I know that it never crossed my mind to take Barca to court.”
Messi said he had been telling the Barcelona FC president Josep Bartomeu “all year” that he wanted to leave. “Everything became very difficult for me and there came a time when I considered looking for new goals,” he added.
“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 further added that the disagreement over his planned departure will not affect his and the club’s relationship or his performance. “I will continue at Barca and my attitude will not change no matter how much I have wanted to go. I will do my best,” he asserted.