Lionel Messi’s interview with La Sexta’s Jordi Evole was broadcast on Sunday and, unsurprisingly, saw the Barcelona captain offer his thoughts on a whole range of topics.
The 33-year-old spoke at length about his family and his life in Barcelona but also opened up on his desire to leave the club last summer and his thoughts on the future.
Messi also spoke about Luis Suarez’s Barcelona exit, the prospect of playing alongside Neymar again and new coach Ronald Koeman.
Here are the main talking points.
Messi on Barca
I feel everything for this shirt. Barça is my life. I have been here since I was 13 years old, I have lived more in Barcelona than in Argentina and the club gave me everything as a person. I have a love relationship for what I have lived since I arrived here. My children were born here too. For this reason, it is a difficult time for the club, as it is for everyone, but from what we know The club is really bad (financially), really bad ... it’s going to be difficult to return where we were.
Messi on talking to clubs in January
I have nothing clear until the end of the year, I will wait for the end of the season, if I would not be breaking what I told you now, the important thing is to think about the team, finish the year, think about trying to get titles and not be distracted by other things.
Messi on wanting to leave
I felt like a cycle was over. My kids were saying they didn’t want to leave, but I felt like it was the best for me. Bartomeu didn’t let me leave and he tried to hurt me by leaking things about me. He tried to make me look like the bad guy in the movie.
Messi on the burofax
It was a way of making it official. I had been saying for six months to the president that I wanted to go. That was my way to say it seriously, for everyone to know. I knew that if we went to court, we would have won. Not just one lawyer told me that, many did. But I didn’t want to leave in that way
Messi on Suarez
What happened with Luis Suarez to Atléti was... crazy! He left for free, paying the remaining years of his contract and he joined a team that fight for the same objectives as us. Unbelievable
Messi on Pep Guardiola
I don’t know how long my last chat with Pep Guardiola was, but we do talk. We don’t talk about whether we are going to meet again. For me Pep is the best, he has something special.
Messi on Bartomeu
A lot of reasons that I would prefer not to get into because don’t like to get into private things ... But I can say he lied to me about a lot of things over many years
Messi on Koeman
Koeman’s doing a good job. It is difficult because there are a lot of young players, but little by little we are growing.
Messi on elections
I am not sure if I’ll vote in the forthcoming presidential elections. Whoever comes in will find the club in a tricky state and will have to work hard to put the club back where it was. As yet none of the candidates have called me. Let’s wait and see what happens and I’ll make my mind up in the summer. The club are going through a tough period financially so it will be complicated to bring Neymar in
Messi on Neymar
It will be difficult to bring players. There is no money. You have to bring important players. Bringing Neymar would be very expensive. It will be a difficult situation for the new president, he must be intelligent
Messi on Griezmann
The relationship is good, I already said it, I never had problems with him and I never did everything that was said, that I did not want his signing and all that. I have no problems , The relationship is good and sometimes we drink mate together in the dressing room and on trips, there is no kind of anything.
Messi in MLS
I’ve always had the dream of playing in another league, in United States. Maybe it will happen, doesn’t have to be right away. Today I am just focused on these next six months.