- Lionel Messi has admitted for the first time about his desire to quit Barcelona
- The Argentine insists the tax saga made him eager to leave Spain
- Messi's tax fraud case ended after he coughed out £223,000 as fine
Lionel Messi has admitted he came close to leaving Spanish champions Barcelona during his £2.95m tax saga with the Spanish authorities - but after offers failed to come by he decided to remain at the club.
The Argentine superstar, who has spent most of his professional career at the Catalan side stressed things, would have been different if he received offers from overseas in the during the summer of 2017.
According to Daily Mail citing an interview Messi had with RAC1, the Argentine stressed he was keen on leaving Spain not Barca, at the point.
“At that time, with the mess of the treasury, I wanted to leave, not for wanting to leave Barca but wanting to leave Spain.
“I felt that I was being very mistreated and I didn't want to stay here. I never had an official offer because everyone knew my idea to stay here,” Messi noted, even as he tried to explain all that happened behind the scene during the tax fraud case that saw him cough out £223,000 as fine.
“It was very difficult for me and my family because people don't know much about what's going on.
“The truth is that it was hard for everything that happened but it is better that my children were small and did not know,” he added.
The five-time Ballon Dor winner is currently in his 16th professional season at Camp Nou since making his debut back in November 2003.
At the last count, Messi has netted 604 times for Barcelona in 692 games, and appears not ready to slow down in the coming years.
Responding to a question on what are his future plans Messi replied. “Today my idea and that of my family is to end here.
“Especially first because of how I am in the club, how I feel in the club, then because of the familiar, for how good we are in this city, for my children, for not changing my friendships and I don't want it broken because I had to live it on my personal level," Messi summed up.
Legit.ng reported earlier that Barcelona's Lionel Messi is closing in on breaking the 643 club goals netted by Edson Arantes do Nascimiento, popularly known as Pelé, during his 18 years stint at Brazilian side Santos.
Interestingly, no football player attempted surpassing the goal record of the three-time World Cup winner between 1956 and 1974, but Messi appears ready to change all of that.
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