Published: Thu, October 10, 2019
Sport | By

Messi: I wanted to leave Barcelona

Messi: I wanted to leave Barcelona

Lionel Messi considered leaving Barcelona after being targeted by Spanish tax authorities in the early 2010s.

"I thought (Real Madrid president) Florentino (Perez) would have done something to sign him", Messi said.

"Not because I wanted to leave Barcelona, but because I wanted to leave Spain".

Barca were also heavily linked with trying to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou but Messi insists a desire to be reunited with his former team-mate did not mean he was cold on the Griezmann deal. "It was not my decision either for him to stay, as it has been said", he added. "I never had an official offer, because everyone knew that I wanted to be with Barcelona, but it was a situation that went beyond what I felt about the club".

"I did not say to throw a stick to the board or go against them, I said it because I do not know because I was not in the negotiations".

"Today, my idea and that of my family is to finish my career here".

They believe that if they "find a suitable habitat for the Frenchman, everything will be easier", meaning a change of atmosphere within the squad and Valverde will also try and find a way to include him more on the pitch.

Cristiano Ronaldo hasn't lost his goalscoring touch despite now being 33 but his 2019 numbers are almost halved by Messi, with the five-time Ballon d'Or victor boasting a tally of 16 goals in 26 minutes. I have no problem with him. "So it's a lie". "The club decided Valverde would continue and for me that was a joy, good for stability and he is a coach we support and love".

Despite a glittering array of prizes picked up throughout his career, Messi is not without regrets - most notably the Champions League semi-final exit to Liverpool last season, when they allowed their opponents to overcome a 3-0 first-leg deficit.

Messi scored his first goal of the season in a 4-0 thrashing of Sevilla on Sunday, after two months spoiled by calf and thigh injuries.

"The defeat against Liverpool was our fault, what happened to us could not happen because we came from the previous year with Rome".

"I'm still a bit short but I'm feeling better", Messi said.

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