clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Lionel Messi’s exit was “sad but necessary,” says Barcelona president

Joan Laporta said he prioritized the club’s well-being

Paris Saint Germain v RC Strasbourg - Ligue 1 Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Joan Laporta, FC Barcelona’s president, has commented on Lionel Messi’s exit from his boyhood club to join Paris Saint-Germain, calling it a “sad” event but a “necessary” one.

“We are convinced that we made the decisions that had to be made. What happened with Messi is sad, but it was necessary, because the institution is above all,” he said.

Messi was ready to accept a new contract at Barcelona but ultimately the club decided they could not afford him, even on reduced wages.

“We would have put everything at risk. The situation is dramatic. It’s solvable, but it is dramatic. If this had happened later, we would have had one or two more years of Messi, but the situation occurred now.”

The original idea was for Messi to remain at Barcelona for two more years. but Laporta says the economic situation made it infeasible. Laporta confirmed that originally he intended for Messi’s relationship with the Catalan giants to end in two years, but the date was moved up to this year.

“I think it has been a relationship that has lasted a long time and it has been one of the most beautiful love stories that this club has experienced. In the end it has deteriorated. It is the way life is,” the club’s president said.