Lionel Messi says he will ‘continue’ at Barcelona, despite wanting to go “all year,” the six-time Ballon d’Or winner announced in an interview with Goal.com on Friday
The 33-year-old’s decision comes just over a week after he sent a letter to the club informing it that he wanted to leave.
“I’ll continue at Barcelona and my attitude won’t change, no matter how much I have wanted to go,” Messi told Goal.com.
“I told the club, the president, that I wanted to go. I’ve been telling him all year,’ added Messi, referring to Josep Maria Bartomeu.
“I thought my time in Barcelona was over, sadly — I always wanted to finish my career here.”
In July 2017, Barcelona and Messi announced a contract extension that would keep him with the team until June 30, 2021 and is reportedly worth €565,000 ($645,000) a week.
Messi’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, believed his son had a clause in the contract which allowed him to leave Barcelona for free this summer.
However, both Barcelona and La Liga maintained that the existing contract was valid.
The Argentine has been with the club since 2000 and has helped it win 10 league titles and four Champions League trophies.
However, he was involved in a number of public spats with the club’s hierarchy this season and suffered an embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in his last game.
“It was a very difficult year, I suffered a lot in training, in games and in the dressing room,” added in the Goal.com video.
“The president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he did not end up keeping his word.”