Tearful Messi confirms Barca exits, says PSG move is a possibility

Messi Breaks down in tears as he confirms Barca exit PSG
Messi broke down in tears as he confirmed Barca exit

A tearful Lionel Messi confirmed that he will no longer be playing for Barcelona as his move to Paris St-Germain is still a possibility but not yet ‘agreed’.

Messi, who has spent 21 years at Camp Nou broke down in tears as he confirmed the end of his career at Barca.

The Argentine striker stated that Barca could not reach a deal with him due to La Liga’s new salary limit despite offering to earn half his normal wages at the Spanish club.

The 34-year-old six-time six-time Ballon d’Or winner, 34, is now a free agent.

“My family and I were convinced we were going to stay here, at home,” he said during a news conference on Sunday.

The Argentina forward added: “This is the end with this club and now a new story will begin. Yes, it’s one of the most difficult moments for me.

“I don’t want to leave this club – it’s a club I love and this is a moment I didn’t expect.”Last year I wanted to leave, this year I wanted to stay. That’s why I’m so sad.

“It was like my blood ran cold. I was really sad. It was really difficult right up to now. I’m still trying to process it all.

“When I get home I will still feel bad; it will be even worse. I’m not ready for this.”

Messi, Barcelona’s record goalscorer, submitted a transfer request last summer before agreeing to stay for the final year of his contract.

That expired on 1 July and Messi is now in talks over a move to PSG, where he would play alongside Kylian Mbappe and former Barca team-mate Neymar.

“It is a possibility, but I have not agreed anything with anyone,” he said. “I have got different clubs interested. Nothing is definitive but clearly we are talking to them.”

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Messi left Argentina for Spain when he was 13 and made his first-team debut for Barcelona aged 17 in October 2004.

He went on to score 672 goals in 778 games and helped the Spanish giants win 34 trophies, replicas of which were displayed at the news conference.

“I’m so grateful for the love that everyone’s shown me, for all my team-mates, and the club being by my side,” he said. “Today I have to say goodbye to all this.

“I arrived when I was very young, 13 years old, and after 21 years I am leaving with my wife and three Catalan-Argentine children.

“I cannot be more proud of everything I did and lived in this city. I have no doubt that, after a few years away, we will return because it is our home.”

Why is Messi leaving Barcelona?

Messi looked set to extend his stay at the Nou Camp having agreed a new five-year contract in July.

His previous contract reportedly paid him £123m a season but Messi agreed to halve his salary.

The agreement was still dependent on player departures to get Barca’s wage bill under La Liga’s limit, however, and the club were unable to do so.

“I offered to reduce my salary by 50% and they didn’t ask me for anything else,” Messi said.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta said on Friday that trying to keep Messi could have put the club at risk for 50 years.

Once it became clear Barca were unable to honour the contract they had agreed with Messi, his representatives contacted PSG.