After playing 21 years at Barcelona, Lionel Messi has announced his departure amid speculations that he is considering an offer from Paris Saint Germain (PSG).
On Sunday, Messi spoke at a media conference in Barcelona, where he expressed, often at times on the verge of tears, an eventful and family oriented time living in the city and playing for the club.
He said, “Today I have to say goodbye to this, as I said before, it was many years, all my life. After 21 years I’m going with my wife and three Argentine Catalans. I cannot be prouder of everything I did and lived in this city, which I have no doubt that after being away for a few years we will return because it is our home, because that is how I promised my children too.”
Messi, who is the most decorated player at the club, has appeared in 778 games, scoring 672 goals according to the club’s website.
Lionel Messi has won the coveted France Football, Ballon d’Or trophy 6 times, all within his tenure at Barcelona.
Proud of his time at the club, Messi reflected, “I gave my all for this club for this shirt, from the first day I arrived to the last. And the truth is that I am more than satisfied. I would have liked to say goodbye in a different way. I never imagined my farewell this way.”
Being proud is an understatement. Messi, along with his Ballon d’Or trophies, has also secured 4 Champion League titles and 10 La Liga titles.
Even though Messi declared that he wanted to stay and the club had reached a compromise that was attractive to Messi, the rules of La Liga’s financial fair play (FFP) said that the agreement could not be signed.
In his final remarks at the press conference, Messi added, “Last year I didn’t want to stay and I also said so, but this year I did want to stay and it was not possible.”
This is the end of the Messi’s era at Barcelona. If a contract is signed next week between Messi and PSG, then football fans will see Messi playing alongside Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappé, who together will pose a substantial threat in the Champions League 2021-2022 season.
Leo Messi is set to join Paris Saint-Germain, confirmed. Jorge Messi received official contract today morning, after talks since Thursday. 🚨🇦🇷 #Messi— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 8, 2021
Messi is ready to accept - he’ll sign with PSG once final details will be fixed. Now planning for travel, medical, unveiling. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/b28XC5DBoR