Emotional Lionel Messi said joining PSG was “possible, but nothing has been agreed upon” as he confirmed his exit from Barcelona.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner, 34, is now a free agent.
“My family and I are convinced we will stay here at home,” he said during a news conference on Sunday.
“This is the end with this club and now a new story begins,” the Argentine striker added. “Yes, it is one of the most difficult moments for me.
“I don’t want to leave this club – it’s a club I love and this is a moment I didn’t expect.” Last year I wanted to leave, this year I wanted to stay. That’s why I’m so sad.
“It was like my blood was cold. I was really sad. It was really hard so far. I’m still trying to process everything.
“When I get home, I’ll still feel bad; it will be worse. I’m not ready for that.”
What else did Messi say?
Messi, Barcelona’s all-time top scorer, Submit a transfer request Last summer before agreeing to stay for the last year of his contract.
That ended on July 1, and Messi is now In talks about moving to Paris Saint-Germain, Where he will play alongside Kylian Mbappe and his former Barcelona teammate Neymar.
“This is a possibility, but I did not agree with anyone on anything,” he said. “I have different clubs interested. Nothing is final but it is clear that we are talking to them.”
Messi left Argentina for Spain when he was thirteen and made his first-team debut for Barcelona at the age of 17 in October 2004.
He went on to score 672 goals in 778 matches and helped the Spanish giants win 34 titles, replicas of which were shown at his press conference at the Nou Camp.
“I am so grateful for the love that everyone has shown me, to all my teammates, and having the club by my side,” he said. Today I have to say goodbye to all of this.
“I arrived when I was very young, 13 years old, and after 21 years I will be leaving with my wife and children from Catalan-Argentina.
“I couldn’t be more proud of all that I did and lived in this city. I have no doubt that in a few years, we’ll be back because it’s our home.”
Messi added: “I will leave the club without seeing the fans for more than a year and a half [due to the pandemic]. Had I imagined it, I would have imagined a full Camp Nou, properly saying goodbye. But it has to be that way.”
Why does Messi leave Barcelona?
Messi seemed ready to extend his stay at the Nou Camp after He agreed to a new five-year contract In July, lower He was reported to have earned £123m per season in his previous contract.
The agreement was based on players leaving to get Barcelona’s wage bill under La Liga limits, however, the club was unable to do so.
“I offered to cut my salary by 50% and they didn’t ask me for anything else,” Messi said. “It is not true that they asked me anything else.
“I only know that it was not possible because of the Spanish League, because the club did not want more debt.”
Barcelona president Joan Laporta said on Friday that trying to keep Messi could put the club at risk for 50 years.
As soon as it became clear that Barcelona was unable to fulfill the contract they had agreed with Messi, his representatives contacted PSG, but wherever Messi went after that, he said that he wanted “to play in the last years of my life in contention for titles”.
He also received a warning to his former Barcelona teammate Dani Alves after the 38-year-old right-back Helped Brazil win Olympic gold To expand his record of professional titles to 43.
“I congratulate Dani Alves and warn him that I will fight to catch up with him and beat him,” Messi added. “It’s my mentality. I have to find my way to continue competing and winning.”
“Imaging a club without you is difficult”
Hundreds of fans gathered outside the Nou Camp and several Barcelona first-team players also attended.
Messi was crying as he walked on stage and received a round of applause before, during and after his press conference.
Andres Iniesta, who has won the Champions League four times with Messi, tweeted: “We shared magical moments and always stayed together. Imagining the club without you or being able to see you at Camp Nou in another shirt is difficult.”
Xavi HernandezAnother member of the legendary Barcelona midfield added: “I can only thank you for everything you have given us during these years. Whatever you do, I wish you the best.”
current Barcelona captain Gerrard Pique He said: “Nothing will ever be the same again. Neither the Camp Nou, nor the city of Barcelona, nor ourselves. The reality, at times, is very harsh.”
Lionel Messi transfer schedule
August 25, 2020 Messi sends a fax to the club saying he would like to Exercising a clause in a contract, allowing him to leave for free with immediate effect.
4 September 2020 – Messi says he will stay at Barcelona Because it is “impossible” for any team to pay the €700m (£624m) release clause, which the club insists must be met.
October 27, 2020 Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who disagreed with Messi over his failed transfer request, Quit.
December 28, 2020 Messi says he hopes For a day in the United StatesHe is unsure of his future when his contract expires.
Jan 31 2021 Barcelona says they will take ‘appropriate legal action’ against Spanish newspaper El Mundo afterwards Messi contract details publishedvalued at £492 million over four years.
May 16, 2021 – Head coach Ronald Koeman said he hopes Messi will not have played his last home game for the club after a while 2-1 defeat by Celta Vigo It ended their title hopes, and it meant they finished first outside the top two for the first time since 2007-08.
May 22, 2021 – He thinks Paris Saint-Germain is too ‘Look closely’ at Messi’s contract continent.
May 28, 2021 Barcelona president Joan Laporta says new contract with Lionel Messi is “I have not finished yet” But “things are going well.”
July 1, 2021 Messi’s contract with Barcelona has expired Become a free agent.
July 15 2021 – Messi agrees to stay with Barcelona On a deal until 2026 that includes a reduction in his wages.
August 5, 2021 Barcelona announces Messi’s departure from the club “due to financial and structural obstacles.”