Lionel Messi made it clear that it was time to move on, seek new challenges and be happy somewhere other than Barcelona.
He had won dozens of titles and broken numerous records with the Catalan club but didn’t like the direction it was going, so the time had come to try and succeed somewhere else.
But despite being promised that he could leave, he wasn’t allowed to. So he is staying for another year to avoid a lengthy legal battle with “the club of his life”.
Putting an end to uncertainty about his future, Messi announced he will continue with Barcelona for the upcoming season despite having wanted to leave.
Messi made the announcement in a video interview published by Goal.com. He said he wanted “to seek a new direction” in his career but didn’t want to fight with the club.
He made it clear that he wasn’t happy with club president Josep Bartomeu, saying the club official didn’t keep his word to let him leave for free at the end of the season.
Messi officially told Barcelona 10 days ago about his decision, but Barcelona said it wanted him to finish his contract that runs until June 2021. It claimed that the clause invoked by Messi to leave had expired on June 10 and said that he had to pay a buyout clause of 700 million euros (NZ$1.2 billion) if he wanted to depart now.
“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,” Messi said.