Udayavni Special

Lionel Messi says he is staying with Barcelona this season


Team Udayavani, Sep 5, 2020, 11:09 AM IST

Barcelona: Lionel Messi announced Friday that he will stay with Barcelona for the upcoming season.

Messi made the announcement in a video interview published by Goal.com. He said he would not get into a legal dispute with the club.

The decision ended an impasse over his future that started when he told Barcelona that he wanted to leave the club for free at the end of the season.

Barcelona wanted him to finish his contract that runs until June 2021. It claimed that the clause invoked by Messi to leave had expired in June and said that he had to pay the buyout clause of 700 million euros ($837 million) if he wanted to depart now.

“The president (Josep Bartomeu) always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he did not end up keeping his word,” Messi said.

There had been no agreement when Messi’s father and Bartomeu met on Wednesday to discuss the player’s future, with Jorge Messi saying his son wanted to leave and Barcelona saying it would not facilitate his transfer.

“I’ll continue at Barcelona and my attitude won’t change, no matter how much I have wanted to go,” Messi said.

“I told the club and the president that I wanted to go. I’ve been telling him all year. I thought my time in Barcelona was over, sadly — I always wanted to finish my career here.”

Messi had not made any public statements since the team’s 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Aug. 14.

“It was a very difficult year, I suffered a lot in training, in games and in the dressing room,” Messi said.

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