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Messi responds to Barcelona boss Joan Laporta after ‘hurtful’ comment

Lionel Messi shock departure
Lionel Messi. Photo/ Football London

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star player Lionel Messi has hit out at Joan Laporta, the Barcelona president. Messi reacted to Laporta’s utterances that Messi could have stayed at Camp Nou.

Laporta recently told RAC1 that he had hoped Messi would turn down PSG’s charm but he didn’t.

“I hoped Messi would do a U-turn and he would say he would play for free.

“I would have liked that and I would have been all for it. It is my understanding La Liga would have accepted it. But we cannot ask a player of Messi’s stature to do this.”

Joan Laporta

FC Barcelona owner Joan Laporta. [Barca Blaugranes]

Messi Responds to Joan Laporta

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner said this statement by Laporta was hurtful and insensitive. Messi said that he was never asked to play for the club for free.

The 34-year-old said what is hurting him more is the fact that the Camp Nou boss doubts his character. He adds that Laporta is running away from responsibility yet he (Messi) did all he could to stay at Barca

“The truth is that, as I explained on my way out, I did everything possible to stay, never at any time was I asked to play for free,” the Argentine forward told Sport.

Remarkably, Messi played for Barca for the last 21 years – since his teenage days – and had hoped to retire there.

But the club’s financial mess was not a great sign in the future for him.

Messi Salary Cut

“I was asked to cut my salary by 50 per cent and I did it without any problem. We were in a position to help the club more. The desire of me and my family was to stay in Barcelona.

“Nobody asked me to play for free but at the same time, it seems to me that the words said by the president are out of place. They hurt me because I think he doesn’t need to say that, it’s like getting the ball off you and not assuming its consequences, or taking charge of things.

“This makes people think or generates a type of doubt that I think I do not deserve.”

Messi Joining PSG

In as much as he took a pay cut, Barcelona was unable to convince Messi to sign a new contract. It is then that he moved to the French Ligue 1 club on a free transfer.

Laporta says in light of the club’s financial situation, Messi could have stayed if he forfeited a weekly salary.

The Argentine forward says he was shocked after reports that he wouldn’t stay with the club due to its financial situation.

He says he thought everything was settled and all that was missing was his signature on the contract. But, his biggest disappointment came when he realized he was all out with Barca.

Messi says that it came as a tremendous shock to him.

Lionel Messi shock departure

Laporta: Messi couldn’t have stayed even with Griezmann departure

“Frankly, I didn’t expect it at all,” he told France Football before going on to explain the circumstances of the move, which came about after he had won the Copa America with Argentina.

“I came back to Barcelona to prepare for the season, having taken advantage of the few extra days of vacation that the coach had granted me.

“I had the idea to sign my contract and resume training immediately. I thought that everything was settled and that all that was missing was my signature on the contract.

“But, when I arrived in Barcelona, I was told that it was no longer possible, that I could not stay and that I had to find myself another club because Barca did not have the money to extend my deal. It turned my plans upside down.”

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