"The club led by Bartomeu is a disaster" - Messi hits out at Barca after agreeing to stay
Lionel Messi will not be leaving Barcelona this summer
After a protracted period of to and fro between player and club which feels like it has gone on for months, Lionel Messi has today agreed to stay at Barcelona rather than engage in a legal dispute with the club.
In an exclusive interview with Goal on Friday evening, Messi revealed the pain that came with telling his family of his desire to leave the club.
“When I communicated my wish to leave to my wife and children, it was a brutal drama,” Messi told Goal.
“The whole family began crying, my children did not want to leave Barcelona, nor did they want to change schools.
“But I looked further afield and I want to compete at the highest level, win titles, compete in the Champions League. You can win or lose in it, because it is very difficult, but you have to compete."
He revealed that he will continue to give his all to Barcelona, despite the desire he has to leave the club. He also admitted that he has been telling the president of his desire to leave "all year".
“I'll continue at Barcelona and my attitude won't change, no matter how much I have wanted to go. 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," he said.
Messi then went on to criticise the club's president Josep Bartomeu, under whose management he claims the club has been a "disaster".
“I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not,” he said.
“Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered all the season.
“And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700 million clause, and that this is impossible.
"I wasn't happy and I wanted to leave. I have not been allowed this in any way and I will stay at the club so as not to get into a legal dispute. The management of the club led by Bartomeu is a disaster."
So, it would appear that Messi will stay for one more season at Barcelona. His future, however, appears to depend very much on the outcome of next spring's presidential elections.