This article will analyse, one-by-one, the 10 key statements from this morning’s press conference in which Leo Messi bid farewell to FC Barcelona.
After breaking down in tears at the start of his speech, the Argentina captain managed to regain his composure and give his version of recent events in front of the cameras.
“EVERYTHING WAS SORTED, AS [JOAN] LAPORTA SAID. I COULDN’T BE REGISTERED DUE TO LALIGA RULES”
Leo Messi reiterated what club president Joan Laporta said during Friday’s press conference. Namely, that the player was keen to extend his stay at Camp Nou but he was unable to do so due to LaLiga’s salary rules. The club couldn’t afford to plunge itself into further debt, and it seems that Messi has accepted the club’s decision.
“I WANT TO CATCH UP WITH DANI ALVES [IN TERMS OF TROPHIES], I’M NOT FAR BEHIND HIM”
Messi spoke several times about his ex-team mate Dani Alves, who is the most decorated player in football history. Joking, the Argentina captain stated that he wants to catch up with him. It is clear that the 34-year old is still hungry for success.
“LAST YEAR I WANTED TO LEAVE. THIS YEAR, I DID EVERYTHING I COULD IN ORDER TO STAY”.
Referring to last year’s infamous ‘burofax’ incident, Messi reiterated that he wanted to leave the club last summer. However, he said that he wanted to remain at Camp Nou for the 2021-22 season and had not been eyeing up a move to any other club.
“BARÇA WILL GET OVER ME LEAVING. THERE’S A GOOD SQUAD OF PLAYERS HERE AND THE FANS WILL MOVE ON”
In response to a question by SPORT’s Dídac Peyret, Messi stated that Barça has a talented squad of players and that the fans will get used to him not being here.
“THIS ISN’T HOW I WANTED TO GO. I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO LEAVE IN FRONT OF THE FANS, IN THE GROUND”
Messi wasn’t happy about the way in which he has left the club. After 21 years associated with FC Barcelona, to leave in the middle of a pandemic, without being able to feel the fans’ love one last time in a packed Camp Nou, has really saddened him.
“MANY LIES HAVE BEEN TOLD. I ALWAYS TOLD THE TRUTH, I DIDN’T MISLEAD ANYONE”
Leo stressed that he has always acted in good faith during his negotiations with FC Barcelona, dismissing some of the rumours that have been written about him in recent days.
“PSG IS AN OPTION, BUT I HAVEN’T AGREED TO MOVE ANYWHERE YET”
While his future looks certain to lie in Paris, Messi stated that he is yet to conclude negotiations with any other side.
“NOTHING SHOULD BE READ INTO THE PHOTO OF ME WITH THE PSG PLAYERS, IT WAS JUST A COINCIDENCE”
Messi said that the photo of him in Ibiza with PSG’s Paredes, Di Maria, Neymar and Veratti was a pure coincidence, as they were also holidaying on the island at the same time.
“I WANT TO KEEP WINNING TITLES. BARÇA FANS KNOW HOW AMBITIOUS I AM”
When asked if he had considered joining a team that wouldn’t be able to play against FC Barcelona, Messi said that fans would understand his ambition to continue winning trophies at the highest level”.
“I KNOW THAT ONE DAY I’LL BE BACK HERE. THIS IS MY HOME”.
He’ll be back. He is sure of it. Barcelona is, and will be, his home, and he has went on record with this.