Messi Makes U-Turn, To Remain In Barcelona
In a pre-recorded video message, the Argentine superstar confirmed his intention to remain at the Camp Nou after the Barca hierarchy made it clear they would not allow him to leave on a free transfer.
The 33-year-old handed in a transfer request at the end of last month, in which he expressed a desire to exercise a clause in his contract, allowing him to leave for free with immediate effect.
But Barca have maintained that the clause expired in June and was no longer valid, and have been insistent he will not be sold for anything less than his €700million (£625m) release clause.
But six-time Ballon d’Or winner has also made it very clear he has lost faith in the club’s president Josep Bartomeu.
‘I wasn’t happy and I wanted to leave,’ he told Goal.
‘I have not been allowed this in any way and I will stay at the club so as not to get into a legal dispute. The management of the club led by Bartomeu is a disaster.’
‘I’ll continue at Barcelona and my attitude won’t change, no matter how much I have wanted to go,’ he continued.
‘I told the club & the president that I wanted to go. I’ve been telling him all year.’
‘I thought my time in Barcelona was over, sadly – I always wanted to finish my career here.’
‘It was a very difficult year, I suffered a lot in training, in games and in the dressing room.’
‘The president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he did not end up keeping his word.’
‘I wanted a winning project and to win titles with the club to continue expanding the legend of Barcelona.’