- Lionel Messi wanted to stay back at Spanish outfit Barcelona according to latest comments by club president Joan Laporta
- The Argentine further agreed a 50 percent pay cut just to return to the club and join his teammates ahead of next season
- Following outrage across Spain, Laporta has continued to explain to fans that Messi wanted to stay as the club wanted him to remain
Barcelona announced Messi’s departure on Thursday, August 5, a situation that has caused outrage among club supporters, while fans across the globe are stunned.
Laporta has continued to explain why a new contract was not agreed for the superstar as they now prepare to severe relationship with their all-time great.
Both parties already had an agreement as Messi was in Camp Nou to put pen on paper on a new deal with the club, but somehow it never came to pass.
Barcelona said in their statement that Messi would no longer continue with the club due to financial and structural issues, but Laporta reiterated that the club wanted the 34-year-old to stay back as well.
Laporta told a press conference via The Football Faithful:
"Leo wanted to stay at Barca. We wanted him to stay. I want to thank everyone that has been in the negotiations. There were lots of aspects that needed to be negotiated.
"He is the best player in the world and has other offers, of course. After all of this process, there comes a moment where you have to say 'enough'. You have to analyse it and look at the numbers.
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"In La Liga we have to abide by the rules. We think they could be more flexible, but that is not an excuse. We couldn't abide by it.
"Leo deserves everything. He has proven that he loves Barca. He has his roots in Barcelona. I'm sad but I'm convinced we have done the best for the interests of Barcelona."
Disbelief in Camp Nou over Messi exit
Fans of Spanish club Barcelona are struggling to come to terms with the departure of their legend Lionel Messi who will leave the club after 18 years.
Unable to come to terms with the news, a devastated supporter drove to the Camp Nou that very night to express grief.
In a clip sighted by SPORTbible, a fan was seen weeping profusely on the floor outside the club’s stadium while holding a Lionel Messi shirt.