Lionel Messi said on Friday he will stay at Barcelona, insisting he could never go to court against “the club of his life”.
But he launched a stinging attack on Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, whom he accused of going back on an agreement to let him leave for free at the end of last season.
Not keeping his word
“The president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he didn’t end up keeping his word,” Messi said in an interview with Goal.com, released on Friday.
“I thought and we were sure that I was free…now they hold on to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for the league in the middle of this disease that altered all the dates.
“And this is the reason why 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 release clause.
“This is impossible, and then the other way was to go to trial. I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, that gave me everything since I arrived, it is the club of my life, I have made my life here.”
“Of course, I had a hard time deciding. It does not come from the Bayern result…I wanted a winning project and to win titles with the club, to continue expanding the legend of Barcelona.
And the truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover holes as things go by. As I said before, I always thought about the welfare of my family and the club.”
Despite his unhappiness, Messi insists he will give his all for Barcelona under new coach Ronald Koeman.
“My attitude is not going to change, no matter how much I have wanted to go. I will do my best. I always want to win, I am competitive and I don’t like to lose ever.”