The six-time Ballon d’Or winner began negotiating the possibility of leaving to play for another club several weeks ago.
Rabat – After several weeks of negotiations, Argentinian football player Lionel Messi has revealed his decision to stay with Spanish club FC Barcelona in an interview with sports publication Goal.
Goal shared the interview today, September 4, putting an end to the speculations that surrounded Messi’s future.
The 33-year-old player announced his wish to leave FC Barcelona, after spending 20 years with the club, in late August. However, the Catalan club refused to let him leave for free.
Messi explained that his family played a major role in his decision to stay with FC Barcelona.
“When I communicated my wish to leave my wife and children, it was a brutal drama,” Messi told Goal.
“The whole family began crying, my children did not want to leave Barcelona, nor did they want to change schools,” he added.
Explaining the motivation behind his wish to leave the Spanish club, Messi said that he wants to compete at the highest level and win titles, such as the Champions League.
Messi had announced his intention to leave FC Barcelona after the unprecedented 8-2 defeat against FC Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals. The loss made Messi doubt the Spanish club’s ability to keep competing at the highest levels.
Another important reason behind Messi’s decision to stay in Barcelona for one more season is his legal obligation. With his contract extending until June 2021, Messi cannot leave the club without paying €700 million, according to a clause in the contract.
“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 clause, and this is impossible,” Messi said.
The only other way for Messi to leave FC Barcelona was to take the Catalan club to court, but the player refused to do so.
“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,” he said.
Messi is now set to prepare for a new season under FC Barcelona’s new coach Ronald Koeman. After failing to win any title in the 2019-2020 season, it remains to be seen whether the Catalan club will be able to bounce back and regain its peak performance.
The only thing that is certain is that six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi will be an important asset for his beloved team.