Lionel Messi broke his silence, giving Goal an exclusive interview at his house in Castelldefels and saying that he was going to “continue at Barcelona” and continue to do his best.
“I am going to continue at Barça and my attitude is not going to change no matter how much I wanted to go. I will do my best. I always want to win, I’m competitive and I don’t like to lose anything. I always want the best for the club, for the dressing room and for myself,” he said, adding that the future may be brighter under new coach Ronald Koeman.
His reason for wanting to leave were simple: “I always said I wanted to end here. That I wanted a winning project and to win titles with the club to continue expanding the legend of Barcelona at the title level. And the truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover holes as things go by. As I said before, I always thought about the welfare of my family and the club “
He also offered his version on the bombshell burofax to the Barcelona board, in which Messi told the club he wished to exercise an exit clause in his contract.
“The burofax was to make it official in some way. Throughout the year I had been telling the president that I wanted to go, that the time had come to seek new illusions and new directions in my career. He told me all the time: ‘We’ll talk, no, this and that,’ but nothing. Sending the burofax was making it official that I wanted to go and that I was free and the optional year I was not going to use it and I wanted to go. It was not to make a mess, or to go against the club, but the way to make it official because my decision had been made.
Messi also spoke of the pain that he felt when his loyalty was doubted, saying: “It hurt me when my love for this club was questioned. No matter how much I go or stay, my love for Barça will never change.”
He admitted to being hurt by the idea that he would leave for money. “The money? Every year I was able to leave and earn more money than at Barcelona. I always said that this was my home and it was what I felt and feel. Better than here it is difficult. I felt that I needed a change and new goals, new things “
Ultimately, although some discontent simmered as he felt Josep Maria Bartomeu “did not end up keeping his word”, Messi said he could never take Barcelona to court.
“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 clause, that this is impossible. And another way is to go to trial. I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, that gave me everything since I arrived, it is the club of my life, I have made my life here.”