“When I communicated my wish to leave to my wife and children, it was a brutal drama,” Messi told Goal.
“The whole family began crying, my children did not want to leave Barcelona, nor did they want to change schools.
“But I looked further afield and I want to compete at the highest level, win titles, compete in the Champions League. You can win or lose in it, because it is very difficult, but you have to compete.
“At least compete for it and let us not fall apart in Rome, Liverpool, Lisbon. All that led me to think about that decision that I wanted to carry out.”
“I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not,” he said.
“Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered all the season.
“And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. 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 (£624m/$823m) clause, and that this is impossible.”
“There was another way and it was to go to trial," he added. “I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, which gave me everything since I arrived.
“It is the club of my life, I have made my life here.
“Barca gave me everything and I gave it everything. I know that it never crossed my mind to take Barca to court.”
“Mateo is still little and he doesn't realize what it means to go somewhere else and make your life a few years elsewhere,” he said.
“Thiago, he is older. He heard something on TV and found out something and asked.
“I didn't want him to know anything about being forced to leave, to have to live in a new school, or make new friends.
“He cried to me and said ‘let's not go’. I repeat that it was hard, really.
“It was understandable. It happened to me. It is very difficult to make a decision.
“I love Barcelona and I'm not going to find a better place than here anywhere. Still, I have the right to decide. I was going to look for new goals and new challenges. And tomorrow I could go back, because here in Barcelona I have everything.
“My son, my family, they grew up here and are from here. There was nothing wrong with wanting to leave. I needed it, the club needed it and it was good for everyone.
“My wife, with all the pain of her soul, supported and accompanied me.”
“I told the club, including the president, that I wanted to go. I've been telling him that all year. I believed it was time to step aside”
“I believed that the club needed more young players, new players and I thought my time in Barcelona was over. I felt very sorry because I always said that I 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. Everything became very difficult for me and there came a time when I considered looking for new ambitions.
“It did not come because of the Champions League result against Bayern, no – I had been thinking about the decision for a long time.
“I told the president and, well, 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 keep his word.”
“Throughout the year I had been telling the president that I wanted to leave, that the time had come to seek new goals and new directions in my career,” explained Messi. “He told me all the time: ‘We'll talk, not now, this and that’, but nothing. The president did not give me a clue at what he was really saying.
“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.”
He added: “If I don't send the burofax, it's like nothing happens, I have the optional year I had to have continued all year.
“What they say is that I did not say it before June 10 – but I repeat, we were in the middle of all the competitions and it was not the moment.
"But apart from that, the president always told me 'when the season is over, you decide if you stay or leave', he never set a date, and well, it was simply to make it official that I wouldn't continue, but not to start a fight because I didn't want to fight against the club."
“Of course I had a hard time deciding. It does not come from the Bayern result, it comes from many things,” he stressed. “I always said I wanted to end here and I always said I wanted to stay here. That I wanted a winning project and to win titles with the club, to continue expanding the legend of Barcelona.
“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."
“I will continue at Barca and my attitude will not change no matter how much I have 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."
“I said it at the time that we were not given the support to win the Champions League," the Argentine added. "Actually, now I don't know what will happen. There is a new coach and new ideas.
“That's good, but then we have to see how the team responds and whether or not it will give us to compete at the top level. What I can say is that I'm staying and I'm going to give my best for Barcelona.”
"I didn't feel alone, not alone. There are those who have always been by my side. That is enough for me and strengthens me.
“But I did feel hurt by things that I heard from people, from journalists, from people questioning my commitment to Barcelona and saying things that I think I didn't deserve. It also helped me to see the truth in people.
“This world of football is very difficult and there are many fake people. This happening has helped me to recognise many fake people. It hurt me when my love for this club was questioned.
“No matter how much I go or stay, my love for Barca will never change."
“It has hurt me a lot that things are published against me and above all, that false things are published," Messi said. "Or that they came to think that I could go to trial against Barca in order to benefit myself.
“I would never do such a thing. I repeat, I wanted to go and it was entirely my right, because the contract said that I could be released. And it is not, 'I'm leaving and that's it'. I was leaving and it cost me a lot.
“I wanted to go because I thought about living my last years of football happily. Lately I have not found happiness within the club.”
"I always put the club before anything else. I had the possibility of leaving Barca many times," Messi said.
“Every year I could have left and earned more money than at Barcelona. I always said that this was my home and it was what I felt and feel."
“To decide there was somewhere better than here was difficult. I felt that I needed a change and new goals, new things”.
"As usual, I am going to give my best, we will do my best to fight for all the objectives and hopefully I can dedicate myself to the people who have had a bad time," Messi said.
“I had a bad time this year, but it is hypocritical to say that if you compare it with people who have really had a bad time with the coronavirus, with people who have lost relatives and who have lost many things.
“Hopefully I can give my best and dedicate victories to all those people who accompany us and their families, to be able to dedicate the best to those people who are having a bad time and that we can overcome once and for all we can overcome this virus and return to normality."
This is bad *IF* true, when CR wanted to leave Prez said you can leave anytime for any fee. Messi is MUCH bigger legend for Barca compared to what CR was for Real. I think this is wrong, and sends a wrong message.
@Pooya and my friend that is the difference and why Real Madrid is a respected club and Barce has histor
but they are not as respected. It starts with ownership and management so at the top. Bayern and Real Madrid,
have owners like KHR who are not petty.
When Lewey was up for a contract extension, Bayen did NOT hold him back from talking to other teams.
When Bayern lost Tony Kroos to Real Madrid, they did not try to hold him hostage @Khabalood
So to me my friend you mentioned too that well same thing I did, it is more of a childish look on BARCE and La Liga
and a despearte attempt to hold Messi hostage. Some of you are blaming and criticizing Messi.
Well if I were a one man show and don't have too much of a supporting cast around me, I would want out too.
3- No 1-2 player is worth that stupid amount of money because Bayern Munich and last year Liverpool proved
that you don't need to break the bank in order to win. Sure they have the big signings too but they have smart signings as well
and a good farm system.
So I can give you a major instance, where Bayern could have pulled a Barce.
1- This WRAKS Desperate Housewives for Barce 1- a lot of unnecessary drama
I am from the KHR and Bayern Munich school of thought. 1- It should be 1- mutual for both parties but
a privilege for you to represent us. 2- if you don't want to be here, we won't hold you back @Pooya Remember the Toni Kroos situation a few years back? That was handled with SO much CLASS by
Bayen. They could have made life difficult for Kroos but they didn't want to hold him back.
They did the mature thing, they let him walk and go to a team who ironically, helped beat twice, to win two UCL trophys.
Despite this Bayern did not pout about it, they got better and won a UCL title themselves
That is the right way of handling the situation. Barce is doing the wrong thing but we can all agree
THIS IS STUPID MONEY for Messi and not worth it for a 33 year old aging skill playher.
100% agree, which is why I can't really consider him GOAT. I mean outside Barcelona and even then with Xavi and Iniesta around him, he has yet to win a CL or any national cup.
I really wish he moved to even another Spanish team to see how he performs outside his comfort zone.
And this is why it must be so frustrating to have Messi on your team be it if you are a player or a coach.' You never know
what this guy is going to do from one day to the next. Tomorrow, his dad will issue a statement saying he wants to leave Barce.