Lionel Messi sensationally opened his final months of the dispute in Barcelona in a comprehensive interview where he slammed the club for the sale of Luis Suarez and opened his own exit saga from a dramatic summer.
The Barcelona legend, whose contract expires this summer, will be able to speak to clubs from January and is closely linked to the move from Nou-Camp, with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain both potential destinations.
The Argentine has so far kept his cards close to his chest in relation to a possible transfer from Spain but he announced that he would make it clear to the club if he wanted to leave and did not regret it after sending a burofax, to try to force one to quit his youth club in the summer.
Lionel Messi opened the last few months in Barcelona in a sensational way in a television interview
The Barcelona legend had a very public rainfall with the club last summer and was about to leave
The 33-year-old said he would send another burofax if he wanted to leave the club next year
“It was a way of making a point and expressing my feelings,” Messi told La Sexta as he reflected on his chaotic exit saga and the public clashes with Barcelona earlier this year.
“I told the club that I wanted to leave. I felt like I had completed a cycle and it was time to leave the club that gave me so much.
‘I wanted to win titles and fight for the Champions League and I thought it was time for change. The President then started filtering this and that to paint a negative picture of me. ‘
Despite such a public and undesirable argument with the club, Messi said he felt his time at Nou Camp was over after certain board-level decisions.
Messi said he felt his time at Nou Camp was over after the fallout in the boardroom
“It wasn’t easy for me to say that I wanted to leave the club and town. The family wanted to stay here, this is their home, but I really felt it was time to go.
“Luis Suarez’s departure had nothing to do with the decision, but I thought it was crazy how his exit was handled and that Barcelona let him go to a direct rival.”
Several players were frozen out of the Dutchman’s plans after coach Ronald Koeman arrived at the club, including Messi’s striker and close friend Luis Suarez.
Messi showed how shocked and disgusted he was at Barca for allowing the former Liverpool striker to go free.
‘What happened to Atleti (Atletico Madrid) with Luis Suarez was crazy!
‘He left for free, paid for the remaining years of his contract and joined a team that is fighting for the same goals as us. Incredible.’
Messi hit the club for their “incredible” and “insane” decision to let Luis Suarez go
He announced that he is still in touch with Suarez and her former attacking partner, Neymar
He announced that he remains in regular contact with Suarez and her former attacking partner Neymar, who is currently with PSG.
“We talk a lot and I talk to Luis every day. The last time I spoke to Neymar was after the UCL round of 16.
“Let’s see what happens and I’ll make up my mind in the summer. The club are in a difficult phase financially so it will be difficult to win Neymar. ‘
Shortly after Suarez left the club to take on defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, Messi slammed the board for running the club in Barcelona, publicly claiming he wanted to leave the club he joined as a youth player in 2001.
Because of Messi’s business at the time, he should have taken his employer to court to rid him of his business and allow him to complete a move to another location.
While the Argentine said he was confident he’d won a legal battle against the Catalan giants, he didn’t want to leave them that way.
“I knew if we had gone to court we would have won. Not just one lawyer told me this, many did. But I didn’t want to leave Barca like that. ‘
Messi is not expected to decide his future until his contract in Barcelona expires next summer
The 33-year-old looked relaxed as he severed all immediate ties with some European elites during the interview – and turned down travel guides to Manchester and Paris – when he revealed he would not rush to the phone in January as his focus remains in Barcelona.
When asked if he would start speaking to clubs, Messi replied: “No, far from it, that would go against what I am saying.
“My plan is to do everything for the club at the moment,” he added, before answering with a simple “No!” Played football for Real or Atletico Madrid.
While moving to town or PSG isn’t on the table right now, he announced that at some point in his career he would be interested in moving to the United States.
Messi kept his cards close to his chest regarding City and PSG but showed an interest in the US
‘I would like to play in the US and experience life and the league there … but in a way I would like to return to Barcelona.
“I’m not thinking too far ahead in the short term and just want to see how the season ends.”
If Messi made a move to Etihad Stadium, he would reunite with old manager Pep Guardiola.
The Argentine had much praise for Guardiola’s “exceptional preparation” and said he was the best manager he’d played under alongside Luis Enrique.
‘His (Guardiola) way of setting up matches was exceptional and the way Luis Enrique worked was also excellent.
“I was lucky enough to work with both men.”
The Argentine had a lot of praise for the “extraordinary preparation” of former boss Pep Guardiola.
After some devastating reviews of Koeman’s beginnings in Barcelona, the striker seems to have warmed up to the manager and to sympathize with his “difficult transition”.
“It’s difficult for him as we are in transition,” Messi replied when asked about running the club under the Dutchman.
“There are new players and young talents, so it’s difficult.”
By their near-impeccable standards, Barcelona have big problems in Koeman’s first responsible season domestically.
The club, a 26-time winner of the Spanish top division, are in fifth place after 14 games and eight points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who has one game in hand.