- Lionel Messi broke down in tears throughout his FC Barcelona farewell press convention.
- The 34-year soccer star confirmed that he could be leaving his boyhood membership.
- Messi additionally mentioned he had tried to remain at FC Barcelona however league rules prevented him.
Soccer celebrity Lionel Messi broke down in tears throughout an emotional press convention the place he confirmed that he’s leaving his longtime membership FC Barcelona.
The 34-year-old, who joined FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy aged 13, and is the membership’s all-time high scorer and look maker, entered the press convention Sunday afternoon sporting a face masks and seemed visibly emotional. Earlier than he spoke to reporters, he was handed a tissue by his spouse to wipe away tears.
“The reality is I am leaving. I am so grateful for the care individuals have proven me,” he mentioned through the press convention. “I by no means imagined having to say goodbye.”
Later, Messi confirmed that he had wished to remain at Barcelona, however he and the membership couldn’t finalize a brand new contract as a result of league rules.
“I did the whole lot doable and the membership, Laporta [President of Barcelona], they could not do it due to LaLiga,” he mentioned. “I’ve heard issues mentioned about me that I did not wish to proceed, however on my life, we did the whole lot we might as a result of I wished to remain.”
He added: “My household and I had been satisfied we had been going to remain at residence. That is what all of us wished greater than something. We would at all times made this our personal. We had been at residence. We thought we might be staying right here in Barcelona. However as we speak, we’ve to say goodbye to all of this.”
FC Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman and Messi’s now-former teammates, together with Gerard Pique, Antoine Griezmann, and Sergio Busquets, had been current on the press convention and gave him a standing ovation as he reached the tip of his speech. At this level, Messi grew to become more and more emotional and stepped away from the rostrum as he wept.
Lionel Messi on the press convention.
Eric Alonso/Getty Photos
Messi’s standing with Barcelona has been up within the air ever since he requested a switch final summer season. He finally withdrew that request and opted as a substitute to play yet one more season with the membership. After this contract expired on the finish of the 2021 season, Messi became a free agent however had been anticipated to signal a brand new cope with Barcelona.
In July, Experiences in Spain prompt that he sign a new deal on a considerably decrease wage, because the Catalan membership had exceeded La Liga’s strict salary limit and wanted to scale back its wage invoice by €200 million ($237 million) per yr to register Messi.
Nonetheless, the membership shocked the soccer world final Thursday after they introduced his departure, citing “monetary and structural obstacles.”
French soccer giants Paris Saint Germain (PSG) are thought-about to be the favorites to signal Messi. Earlier this week, The Athletic’s Adam Crafton reported that Messi instantly contacted fellow Argentinian and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino late Thursday night a few doable transfer.
Nonetheless, through the press convention, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner mentioned he had not made up his thoughts about his future. Though he mentioned, PSG is “one risk.”
“There are plenty of golf equipment ,” he mentioned.
Messi scored 672 objectives for Barcelona.
—FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 8, 2021
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