At a news conference, Lionel Messi sobbed as he discussed his Barcelona exit for the first time. Messi will leave Barcelona with 10 league titles, four Champions League titles, and three Club World Cups among his 35 trophies after 778 appearances and 672 goals.
For Messi’s farewell, his family and some of his teammates gathered at Camp Nou. As he took the platform, the Barcelona icon battled to keep his composure. He started his speech by saying that he and his family had no plans to leave and that they had been preparing for their future in Barcelona.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) August 8, 2021
Messi said that this unexpected turn of events caught him off guard and that everything appeared to be in place for him to stay, but that LaLiga laws changed everything. He went on to say that he didn’t want to remain last year, but he tried everything this year to make sure he did.
“I’ve been thinking about a number of stuff. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I’ll be leaving this club and changing my life. It is necessary for us to accept it and go on. It was a dream come true for me to make my debut, and everything that followed was incredible. I’ll never forget the moment when everything began.”
“Honestly, with all the silliness with the Burofax last year, I was confident I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but not this year. This year, my family and I were very certain that we would stay at home; it was all we wanted.”
Leo Messi: “The pic with Paris Saint-Germain was a coincidence, completely. I was there with my friends, we decided to take a photo… they told me: ‘Come to Paris!’ but it was just a joke, we were on holiday”. 🔴🇫🇷 #PSG #Messi pic.twitter.com/aKuh0LXQEd
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 8, 2021
“I went to great lengths to stay here. I agreed to a pay reduction of 50%.”
“We’ve had some good moments and some horrible ones, but the affection that people have shown me has never changed.”
Messi remained tight-lipped about his future, claiming that he had gotten offers from a number of clubs following the Catalan club’s announcement that he would be leaving. Messi admitted it was “a possibility” when questioned about joining Paris Saint-Germain. Barcelona had previously announced on Thursday that it would not be able to maintain its best player because a new deal would not comply with the Spanish league’s financial fair-play criteria.