Lionel Messi has broken the silence on his transfer saga by revealing he’ll be staying for another season in Barcelona.
Lionel Messi had conveyed to Barça via a Burofax that it was time for him to leave the Laliga giants, after twenty years dawning the Blaugrana shirt.
But Barcelona, led by current president, Josep Bartomeu, wouldn’t let the Argentine leave in such a sour taste — weeks after the club had endured an embarrassing 8-2 defeat in UEFA Champions League at the hands of eventual winners, Bayern Munich.
Messi had claimed that he had a clause on his contract, which permitted him a free transfer at the end of this season. But Barcelona insisted that the clause had expired, and only way Messi will be allowed to leave is if his release clause is triggered. A clause which stands at a staggering 700 million euros.
A lot of tabloids linked the six-times Balon D’or winner with a move to Premier League side, Manchester City, with the hope that the Argentine will be willing to go into legal battle to push a deal through.
But Lionel Messi has revealed he will have to remain at Barcelona for the incoming season. He wouldn’t like to take “the club of his life” to a legal battle while stating the role his oldest son, Thiago, played.
“When I communicated my wish to leave to my wife and children, it was a brutal drama, the whole family began crying, my children did not want to leave Barcelona, nor did they want to change schools” – Messi said, in an exclusive interview with Goal.
He stated the reasons for his decision to abandon the club he grew up in;
“But I looked further afield and I want to compete at the highest level, win titles, compete in the Champions League. You can win or lose in it, because it is very difficult, but you have to compete.
At least compete for it and let us not fall apart in Rome, Liverpool, Lisbon. All that led me to think about that decision that I wanted to carry out.”
Messi went further to air out the uncertainties surrounding his contract terms with the club, and how the President has used it to his advantage to make him stay;
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/$823m) clause, and this is impossible.”
His love for Barcelona is the major reason why he has gone against the option of taking Barça to court;
“There was another way and it was to go to trial, but I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, which gave me everything since I arrived.
“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.”
On the role his eldest son played;
“Mateo is still little and he doesn’t realise what it means to go somewhere else and make your life a few years elsewhere,”
“Thiago, he is older. He heard something on TV and found out something and asked.
“I didn’t want him to know anything about being forced to leave, to have to live in a new school, or make new friends.
“He cried to me and said ‘let’s not go’. I repeat that it was hard, really.
It was understandable. It happened to me. It is very difficult to make a decision.”
Despite what has happened, Messi believes he’s still going to give his best and remain dedicated to serving the club– even though he has been forced to stay against his wishes;
“I love Barcelona and I’m not going to find a better place than here anywhere. Still, I have the right to decide. I was going to look for new goals and new challenges. And tomorrow I could go back, because here in Barcelona, I have everything.”