The Lionel Messi saga is finally over. The Argentine superstar is staying at Barcelona and explained in an interview with Goal.com the reasons of his decision. And among those reasons, Messi said that he will stay to avoid sending his beloved club to court.
The soccer world was shocked last week when the six-time Ballon d'Or winner told Barcelona he intended to leave the club. After almost 20 year at the Catalan side, Messi would leave Barca to find a new challenge in another team.
Speculations were everywhere. Manchester City were apparently Messi's first choice to continue his carrer. Apparently, the English Premier League side was willing to pay the Argentine a millionaire contract, hoping to have him three years in the EPL and then two more years in New York City FC of the MLS.
However, everything changed on Wednesday, after Jorge Messi, Lionel's father and agent, met with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu to negotiate the player's exit. And of course, they failed to reach an agreement.
Lionel Messi Interview: His reasons to stay at Barcelona
There was no announcement on Twitter or Instagram. Messi finally explained the reasons of his decision in an interview with Goal.com. He said that he has been thinking about about leaving the club for quite some time and added he has difference with Bartomeu. However, he will stay to avoid sending his beloved club to court.
"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."
Barcelona would only let Messi go if his €700 million release clause was paid, something even Messi said was impossible. That's why the only possible way to force his departure would be dragging Barcelona to court, but he denied to do that.
"There was another way and it was to go to trial," Messi said. "I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, which gave me everything since I arrived."
Messi added that other reason was his family: "When I communicated my wish to leave to my wife and children, it was a brutal drama. The whole family began crying, my children did not want to leave Barcelona, nor did they want to change schools".
Now, after almost 10 days of speculations, Messi will stay at Barcelona. He wanted to leave and find new challenges in another club, but Barcelona didn't let him. The Argentine superstar will play for the Catalan club for another 10 months, until his contract finishes in 2021.