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Lionel Messi: I didn’t have any other choice than to leave Barcelona

The GOAT has opened up on his shock exit

Lionel Messi of Barcelona Press Conference Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Lionel Messi has opened up on his exit from Barcelona in a new interview and says he had no choice but to leave the club after being told it wasn’t possible to stay at the Camp Nou.

The GOAT has explained he returned from his vacation after the Copa America with the intention of signing a new contract until he was suddenly told the club couldn’t afford to keep him on.

“Honestly, not at all. I came back to Barcelona to prepare the season after making the most of a few extra days off that the manager had given me,” he said.

“My idea was to sign my contract and then start training again straight away. I thought everything was sorted and that it was just missing my signature [on the contract]. But when I arrived in Barcelona I was told that it wasn’t possible anymore, that I couldn’t stay and that I had to find myself another club, because Barcelona didn’t have the means to renew my contract. It shook up my plans.”

Messi also spoke about how difficult it was to leave his home in Barcelona and move his family to a new country and a new club.

“Of course, it was extremely hard to withstand. To tell yourself that you have to leave home and that your family has to shake up their routine,” he added.

“The kids were going to have to change schools and follow us in a new place. It was the first time this happened in my career. Lots of things were going on in my head, but I didn’t have any other choice than to leave. That’s how it was and we had to accept it.”

The GOAT also spoke about how he was able to quickly agree a deal with Paris Saint-Germain. President Joan Laporta told RAC1 on Friday he thought Messi had already received a “powerful offer” from the French side but Messi’s side of the story is a bit different.

“Barcelona published a statement saying I wasn’t going to continue, and from that moment on I was asking myself where I was going to end up. I had to find a new club to continue my career. I was lucky to be contacted by various clubs and one of them was Paris Saint-Germain,” he added.

“I’m grateful to the club because, from the beginning, they treated me well. They showed that they really wanted me and took care of me. I thank them and I’m really happy to be here today. I had other offers, but I have to admit that we came to an agreement quite quickly with PSG,

“The discussions had started and it wasn’t simple because everything had to be sorted out in a short amount of time. practically from one day to the next, even though it was a very difficult deal to get done, with regard to the circumstances. I was convinced by the project, the club’s ambitions, the players they have, the squad… All of these factors facilitated things to quickly reach an agreement.

Source | France Football

Messi also spoke about how he’s finding life in Ligue 1 compared to Spain’s top flight. The Argentine has only made three Ligue 1 outings so far but thinks the league is “a lot more physical” to La Liga.