FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has announced that he will remain at the club putting an end to the transfer saga that has raged since he handed in transfer request on August 25. He has also made it clear that he will honour the present contract and stay until 2021, until his contract runs out. Messi is now expected to rejoin the team for pre-season training starting this month.
Jorge Messi, father and agent of the Barca front man arrived at Barcelona on Friday for a final dialogue with the Barcelona board. Quizzed upon the situation by the local media, he admitted that “It is difficult”. However, the final talks did bring the resolution and it is what every Messi and Barcelona fans was craving for.
Messi sat down with Goal.com to address the current situation candidily told, “I never wanted to go to court with Barcelona because it’s the club that I love.”
Hinting at discord with the Barcelona President, Joseph Bartomeu, Messi added “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.” Bartomeu, reportedly told Messi’s agent that he would not let the player depart until a club would pay 700 million euro and hinted that Barcelona may take the matters to the court.
“Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the 700m euro clause, and that this is impossible.”
Messi further explained “I’ve been telling him that all year, I believed it was time to step aside. I believed that the club needed more young players, new players and I thought my time in Barcelona was over.”
He denied that his decision to leave Barcelona was influenced by the defeat by Bayern telling “It does not come from the Bayern result, it comes from many things.
“The truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover holes as things go by.
Messi also spoke of woes that struck the family when he revealed he wanted to leave Barcelona.
“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’.
The player didn’t hide his frustration over the contents published by media. He was displeased because they suggested he would drag Barcelona to court to push for transfer. He related that “I wanted to go and it was entirely my right, because the contract said that I could be released.
“I always said that this was my home and it was what I felt and feel. I always said that this was my home and it was what I felt and feel. I felt that I needed a change and new goals, new things.”
Although Messi is set to continue at Barcelona he has also exposed a bitter conflict between him and the club’s president. Messi also clashed with sporting director Eric Abidal in March who questioned players’ work ethics and suggested they were not working harder under Erneseto Valverde. Messi had refuted the accusations and countered that Abidal should be giving names or not spread rumors that would discourage players.
As for now , Messi will see through his contract and Europe’s elite club will have to return their contract papers back to the table. But given how Messi feels treated by the current Barca president, it may be either him or Bartomeu in the coming months should Mess wish to retire at Barca.
Messi’s tell-all interview with Goal is below: