Lionel Messi Speaks On His Decision To Stay At Barca

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has revealed the heartbreak of his decision to leave Barcelona – and why he ultimately chose to stay with the club in a world exclusive with Goal.com.

The 33-year-old, who has spent two decades at the Catalan club, announced that he wanted to leave Barcelona on a free transfer in late August.

However, the club refused to recognise the break in his contract, as they claimed the moment for using it had passed in June.

Messi eventually accepted he must stay at Camp Nou to avoid dragging his beloved club to court. He told Goal.com:

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.

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 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.

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 that this is impossible.

… There was another way 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.

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.

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.

Messi will now prepare to start the season under new Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman.

More: Goal.com

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