Messi

LIVE: Messi Breaks Down In Tears As He Bids Farewell To Barcelona

11 mins read

Lionel Messi is currently hosting a press conference at Nou Camp on his exit from Barcelona after over 20 years at the club.

But the Barcelona superstar was emotional and tried to fight back tears at the start of the conference.

“This is really difficult for me after so many years, having been here for all my life. I am not ready for this,” says Messi.

MESSI: I WANTED TO STAY

Messi is making clear that he wanted to stay at Barcelona this summer.

“We were at home, we thought we would be staying at Barcelona…it is what we wanted,” says an emotional Messi. “Today, l have to say goodbye.”

AN EMOTIONAL MESSI SAYS GOODBYE

“These recent days I’ve been thinking, giving a lot of thought to what I can say. And the truth is that I can’t think of anything, this is really difficult for me after so many years.

“I’ve been here my entire life, I’m not ready for this. And last year with all the nonsense, I was convinced of what I wanted to say, but this year it is not the same.

“This year my family and I were convinced we were going to stay here, that is what we all wanted more than anything. We were at home, and we thought we’d be staying here in Barcelona, the time we’ve hard here and with the city and [in terms of the] football has been amazing.

“But today, I have to say goodbye to all of this.”

MESSI: BARCELONA IS MY HOME, ME AND MY FAMILY WILL BE BACK

“I’ve been here since I was 13. After 21 years I am leaving with my wife and three little Catalan-Argentine kids, and I can’t tell you everything.

“I can tell you in a few years we want to come back because this is my home.

“I am just really grateful to my team-mates and former team-mates, everyone that has been by my side. There are so many people.

“For this club I have so much respect. So many beautiful things have happened. Also some bad things, but all this helped me to grow and improve and make me the person I am today.

“I gave everything for this shirt from the first day until the very last. The truth is that I am leaving.

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“I would love to be able to go in a different way. I never imagined it this way. I didn’t think I would have to say goodbye.

“I imagined it with the team on the pitch, the last cheers. We have been playing without fans and it has been difficult not to hear them. And now I have to leave without seeing the fans for a year and a half.

“If I had imagined it, it would have been with all the fans.

“I hope I can come back and be part of this club again in any way and help it become the best in the world.”

MESSI THANKS BARCA FANS

“We’ve not been able to play in public this last year because of the pandemic and it’s been difficult not to hear their cheers, not to have them nearby, not to hear them shouting my name.

“I leave this club now without seeing the fans for over a year and a half. If I imagine it, I would have imagined the Nou Camp being full and being able to say goodbye properly.

“But it has to be this way, and I’m so grateful for all the love that everyone has shown me because I’ve had some such great moments here over the years, some bad ones too but the love people have shown me has always been the same.”

MESSI’S BEST MOMENT AT BARCA?

“It’s difficult to choose just one moment. Maybe the time that I made my debut. That was my dream come true.

“Everything that came later was amazing. But maybe I will always remember the moment it all started.”

MESSI: FUTURE IS NOT YET DECIDED

But where will Lionel Messi play next season? Answer: he doesn’t know yet.

Messi says that PSG “is one possibility” for the future, but immediately adds that his future is not yet determined.

“I have nothing confirmed with anyone. There are a lot of clubs interested. At the minute, nothing is closed. We are talking about a lot of things.”

YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO RENEW YOUR DEAL, WHAT HAPPENED?

“This is what [club president Joan] Laporta said right until the last minute. Then what happened with the league happened. What more is there to tell?

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“I did everything possible for the club, for Laporta. On my behalf we did everything we could because I wanted to stay. Last year I didn’t, and I said it. This year I did, and I couldn’t.”

MESSI STRESSES – AGAIN – HE WANTED TO STAY 

The most consistent themes of the press conference so far have been Messi’s emotional state and his absolute insistence that he wanted to sign a new deal with Barcelona.

“I didn’t want to leave this club, it’s the club l love,” Messi stresses again.

MESSI: MY LIFE HAS CHANGED COMPLETELY

“A lot of things have passed through my head.

“At the same time, I am a little blocked and can’t think of what to stay. I still haven’t quite come to terms with what’s happened and changing my life completely.

“We have to change again. It will be a difficult change, especially for my family, because they thought they were going to stay in this city.

“But we need to accept it, take it on and move forward.”

MESSI: I’M GRATEFUL FOR MY CAREER AT THE NOU CAMP

“It’s going to be a difficult change, especially for my family because they thought they were going to stay in this city.

“I’ve got nothing confirmed with anybody [any other club]. At the moment the press release came out, I had a lot of calls. There is nothing closed but we are talking about a lot of things.

“I value this club [Barcelona] a lot, I’ve always tried to manage myself with humility and respect and understand the importance of wearing the Barca shirt.

“I want people to recognise that from me, as well as the game on the pitch.

“I’m very grateful for the career that I’ve had but especially in Barcelona, the titles that we’ve won, the defeats as well because they made me learn and grow.

“When we’ve won titles, I celebrated them with my friends, family, and children. I have a lot of memories here and they are all really good.”

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