Lionel Messi says he will stay at Barcelona, 10 days after telling the club he wanted to leave.
Messi, who is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, sent a fax to Barca last Tuesday saying he wanted to exercise a clause in his contract which he said allowed him to leave for free.
But the club and La Liga later stated that he can only leave now if his 700m Euro release clause is met.
Messi reportedly told Goal in an exclusive interview:
“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. Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before 10 June, when it turns out that on 10 June 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 700m clause, and that this is impossible.”
The only way for Messi to leave would have been to take Barcelona to court, however Goal says that is a route the 33-year-old refuses to take:
“There was another way and it was to go to trial. 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.”
As such, he will remain at the club for another 10 months.
Messi’s contract with Barcelona expires next year, at which point he could sign as a free agent.
Read the full exclusive article by Goal HERE.