‘I wanted to stay’: Lionel Messi tearful at Barcelona exit as free transfer looms

An emotional Lionel Messi has revealed he expected to extend his stay at Barcelona, but is now a free agent after financial issues at the Catalan club left them unable to pay the Argentinian’s wages.

It was announced on Thursday the six-time Ballon d’Or winner would not sign a new contract with his boyhood club, with Barça president Joan Laporta insisting the club’s former regime at Barca and La Liga’s spending rules had thwarted any hopes of Messi staying.

Speaking at his farewell press conference on Sunday morning, a tearful Messi said: "この年, my family and I were convinced we were going to stay at home, that’s what we all wanted more than anything.”

“We’d always made this our own, we were at home. We thought we would be staying here in バルセロナ. But today, we have to say goodbye to all of this.”

“I did everything possible and the club, 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. 昨年, I didn’t want to stay and I said it; この年, I wanted to stay and we couldn’t.”

PSG appear the most likely next destination for Messi and while he confirmed that was a possibility, he insisted noting was yet agreed.

彼は言った: “That’s honestly one possibility, to reach those heights, but I’ve got nothing confirmed with anybody. When the press release was published, I had a lot of calls and a lot of clubs were interested. At the moment, I’ve not got anything closed, but we are talking about a lot of things.”

More to follow …