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Joan Laporta: I had hoped Messi would play for Barcelona for free

The president has been discussing the GOAT again

Athletic de Bilbao v FC Barcelona - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has given another interesting interview to RAC1 where he’s spoken about Lionel Messi’s exit once again.

Laporta says he had hoped that the captain would offer to play for the Catalan giants for free in order to stay but admits he could never have asked Messi to do so.

“I didn’t get angry with Messi. I cannot get angry with someone whom I have such esteem and appreciation,” he said.

“But there comes a time that when both parties see that it will not be possible, there is a certain disappointment on both sides.

“And I know they had a had a huge desire to stay but they also had a lot of pressure due to the offer they had from Paris.

“Everything indicates that he already had the offer from PSG. Everyone knew that he had a very powerful offer. We knew that from Messi they had a very good offer.

“I did hope that at the last minute Messi said he would play for free. I would have liked that and he would have convinced me. I understand that La Liga would have accepted it. But we cannot ask a player of his level to do this.

“I thought it because I know him, he went up to the first team when I was there, I helped his family a lot. He knew that when we our economic situation recovered he would be reciprocated.”

Source | Mundo Deportivo

Interestingly, Laporta also hinted that the CVC deal was still possible for Barcelona but only if amendments are made.

He added, “La Liga explained the CVC deal to us in detail, saying it was the only way to keep Messi. But no, we don’t need more debt. We could still sign it if the terms are modified.”

Meanwhile, we may hear Messi’s side of the story over the weekend. The Argentine has given an interview to France Football which is due to be published on Saturday.