Argentine striker Lionel Messi has confirmed that he will move to Inter Miami. Many expected the legend at Barcelona, from where he left for PSG in the summer of 2021. But this did not happen. Because? The footballer spoke about this (and not only) in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.
On the stage at PSG
– Now I feel calm and good, since this season is over. It was an atypical year because the World Cup was played in the middle of it. This tournament changed everything. Now I think about the matches of the Argentine team and the holidays.
How did the season end at PSG? With mixed. As I have repeatedly said, the first year in Paris was not easy for many reasons. The first six months of the second season I felt very good: at the club, in the city, with my family.
Messi at PSG
Photo: Corbis via Getty Images
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Then came the World Cup, which I think affected all the clubs. He made this season a World Cup season. Because of this, everything is perceived differently. I planned to end this season differently. It has not been an easy two years. But they are already behind.
How did my family live in Paris? They traveled to Catalonia whenever they could. But the reality is that we don’t always know what will happen to us in the future. The family really wanted to return to Barcelona. It was very difficult to leave, we never wanted to leave Barcelona. But the family accepted my choice and supported me in the transition to PSG. This is our joint decision, not just mine.
At first it was difficult for my children in Paris, but now they have adapted. These are children: they have friends at school, it hurts to say goodbye to them. They are already big. First of all Thiago. He understands the situation and is glad we are leaving.
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Barcelona departure details
– It was a difficult decision. Once again I will say that all this is in the past. It was an unpleasant stage. My family and I lived with the illusion that I could stay in Spain: I trained, the children went to school.
The night before the signing of a new contract they told me that it was impossible to conclude it and that I had to leave the club. I had to make a hasty decision to move to another team. What we went through was a great test.
-Isn’t it strange that after I left, Barcelona signed Ferran Torres for 55 million euros? I don’t know I had to leave the club, he hurt me. I was mad for a while, but everyone should move on. And Barça should. They signed Torres, so they could pay for it. Two years later, I no longer think about what happened.
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Messi is going to America, but he will return to Barça! Statements of the footballer after the transition. LIVE
longing for barcelona
– The first year in Paris was difficult for me. Obviously, I missed Barcelona. I will say more: I watched the games, I consoled myself with the memories, I thought about the possibility of being there. This season I also followed Barcelona, I am a fan of this club. You yourself understand everything. I am very happy that they became champions. I spoke a lot with Xavi, like that, about some games, after some games, about the situation of the team. We have talked a lot with him since he became a coach. And obviously I hear it.
I was happy that these two years at the Camp Nou chanted my name. After all, I left in a strange way, without saying goodbye. And I would like to, as Xavi did with Iniesta, Busquets, Jordi Alba. I would like to say goodbye to the fans properly. Although I understand that at that time there was a pandemic and perhaps there were no people in the stands. My love for Barcelona is mutual. After all, you see, it’s been rare for two years to hear from the stands the name of a footballer who no longer plays there.
– Is history with Barcelona a wound that bleeds? Only if a little. Due to the fact that I could not say goodbye to the fans, as it should be. I think I deserve it. As the players I named before deserve it. I would like to leave the same way. Because someone might think I’m a bad guy; Personally, if I was a fan, it would be unpleasant for me. That’s why I wanted to say goodbye to the people who lived in the club, who rejoiced and suffered with it. Very sorry.
Messi in Barcelona Spring 2021
Photo: Corbis via Getty Images
Why the return to Barcelona did not take place
– I was filled with desire and enthusiasm to return, but on the other hand, I did not want to be in a difficult situation. When my career depends on other people’s decisions, when my life is in someone’s hands, not me. I wanted to make the decision myself, thinking of myself and my family.
I spoke with Joan Laporta once or twice, no more. Basically, the communication was built through Xavi. We talk about whether he really wants him back, whether it will be useful for the team and for his professional growth.
I heard that in order to come back, Barcelona had to go through many different procedures, including laying people off, selling players, and reducing wages. To be honest, I really didn’t want to worry about this and then think about how the changes affected my comeback. During his career in Barcelona, I heard a lot of things: I didn’t want to go through unpleasant moments again.
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I didn’t read much of what was written. Mostly communicated with Javi. LaLiga seemed to have given the green light to my transition, but there was still a whole summer ahead, anything could happen. She didn’t want to be nervous, to be on pins and needles, to wait for something, to worry.
I preferred to make a decision on a new club as soon as possible, that is, now. To calmly enjoy the low season, be with the family and calmly plan what and how the next season will be.
To be honest, money as such was not a problem. We didn’t even talk about the contract with management. The club made me an offer, but it was not official, nor written, nor anything else. There was an intention on the part of Barcelona to invite me, but this matter did not move due to administrative nuances. What’s the use of talking about money? If I was worried about finances, I would go to Saudi Arabia or somewhere else. There would be a lot of money, but the truth is that I do not base my decision on this aspect.
Did Barcelona do everything possible to recover me? I don’t know if that is your problem. I only know what I discussed with Javi. The club, as I understand it, has received league approval for a contract with me. But I’ll tell you again: the decision did not depend only on this. I didn’t get answers to many questions, they just didn’t exist. To date, the club has not been able to guarantee me with 100% certainty that I can return.
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About the pressure from all sides
– I don’t know where so much information comes from, but one day they confidently send me to Saudi Arabia, then it seemed that I had already agreed to return to Barcelona, and one day later everything changes again. Therefore, I did not pay much attention to the press.
Now I have a stage in my life where I would like to reduce the attention to me a bit. Two years in Paris were difficult: I lived in a hotel with my family for a long time, there were a lot of everyday problems. Sometimes I felt very bad. Yes, it was a great month after winning the World Cup, but at the world level in France I didn’t feel comfortable. But we must move on: for the sake of the family and children. That is why he decided not to give up, even after not returning to Barça.
So much has been said in the last few months, so many lies have been leaked. I cannot refute everything that someone said, but I see that there are journalists who lie and distort reality. But it doesn’t work as they say. The next day they lie again. But again nothing happens. Many things worry me, but the main thing is what they say and write about my family.
messi with family
Photo: From Messi’s personal archive
Saudi Arabia interest
– They wrote that I was going to Saudi Arabia with Busquets and Jordi Alba, that we had already agreed on everything there. Obviously, I knew about his plans to go there, but we never agreed to do it together. I have made the decision to go to Miami and I don’t know what they are going to do.
End of the European race
As they say, do what you must and come what may. He really wanted to win the World Cup. After this happened, I want to find some peace for the sake of new challenges in the future. What do I mean when I say I want less attention? I’m leaving Europe and now I can say it. I had offers from European clubs, but I didn’t even read them, because my idea was to return to Barcelona. After it didn’t work out, I analyzed the situation and decided to quit European football.
I became the world champion – this was the last point, once closed, I can safely finish the European leg of my career to go to the US and enjoy much more free time.
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Messi will continue at Barcelona. But in a different capacity
– Would I like to return to Barcelona, if not as a player, then in a different role? Yes, I would like that. Also, I’m going to live in Barcelona after the end of my playing career. This is one of the things that my wife, children and I discovered for ourselves a long time ago.
I don’t know when, how and what will happen, but I hope that one day I can contribute to the success of Barcelona. Because this is the club that I love. I have always said it. I appreciate the love during my career and that is why I would like to return to Barça one day.