Messi announced that he was staying at Barcelona on Friday, but he is unhappy about the situation as he sees out the final year of his current contract.
The 33-year-old had a clause in his contract allowing him to leave at the end of every campaign for free, but after telling Bartomeu that he was be taking up that option, the president has made it impossible for Messi to leave the club.
However, Messi revealed that he will continue to give his all to the Catalans, despite the desire he has to leave. He also conceded that he has been telling the club president of his desire to leave “all year”.
“I’ll continue at Barcelona and my attitude won’t change, no matter how much I have wanted to go. I told the club and the president that I wanted to go. I’ve been telling him all year. I thought my time in Barcelona was over, sadly – I always wanted to finish my career here,” he said.
Lionel Messi then went on to criticise the president Josep Bartomeu, under whose management he claims Barcelona has been a “disaster”.
“I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not,” he said.
“Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered all the season.
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“And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700 million clause, and that this is impossible.
“I wasn’t happy and I wanted to leave. I have not been allowed this in any way and I will stay at the club so as not to get into a legal dispute. The management of the club led by Bartomeu is a disaster.”
So, it would appear that the Argentine superstar will stay for one more campaign at Barcelona. But his future appears to depend much on the outcome of next spring’s presidential elections.