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Tearful Lionel Messi explains Barcelona departure at emotional press conference

Lionel Messi PSG

Lionel Messi is leaving Barcelona.

Lionel Messi fought back tears as he appeared at a press conference to explain his Barcelona departure this morning.

On Thursday night, Barcelona confirmed that their greatest ever player would be leaving the club, 17 years after making his professional debut.

lionel messi

Barcelona statement on Lionel Messi.

A statement issued by the club said: “Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).

“As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.”

Anyone who thought the idea of Messi leaving Barcelona wasn’t plausible will have had their mind changed definitively this morning.

Lionel Messi appears at press conference.

The Argentine appeared at what was very much a ‘farewell’ press conference at the Nou Camp this morning, fighting back tears as he received a standing ovation in a room packed with family, teammates and journalists.

“I didn’t want to leave this club, it’s the club l love,” Messi stated. “I did everything possible and the club, (Barcelona President) Laporta, they couldn’t do it because of La Liga.

“I’ve heard things said about me, that I didn’t want to continue, but on my life, we did everything we could because I wanted to stay.

“Last year, I didn’t want to stay and I said it; this year, I wanted to stay and we couldn’t.”

Lionel Messi: “People will get used to it.”

Speaking on how Barcelona will cope without him, Messi said: “Barcelona is one of the best teams in the world, they have an amazing line-up.

“A lot of players will come and go, and like Joan Laporta said, this club is more important than any one person. People will get used to it, at first it will be weird but like everything, people will get used to it.

“They have great players, a great squad and in the end, it will be easy for them.”

 

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“There are a lot of clubs interested.”

The six-time Ballon D’Or winner has been heavily linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, with talks over a move already said to be underway.

“That’s honestly one possibility,” Messi said of the PSG links. “I have nothing confirmed with anyone. There are a lot of clubs interested. At the minute, nothing is closed. We are talking about a lot of things.”

Over the past 17 years at Barcelona, Messi has developed into what many believe to be the greatest player of all time.

He won 10 La Liga titles during his time at the Nou Camp, as well as four Champions Leagues and seven Copa Del Rey.

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