Barcelona legend Lionel Messi cried as he attended his last press conference to finally bid goodbye to the club and its supporters as he departs after 21 years at the Camp Nou.
The 34-year-old leaves the club due to the club’s inability to meet his wages as the club is cash-strapped.
The financial difficulties forced the hierarchy to decide against extending his contract.
The Argentine international insists he was not prepared to leave Barca this summer as he would have loved to play in front of the supporters once more.
“I was convinced to stay here in Barcelona. This is my home, our home. I wanted to stay at Barça and it was the plan… and today I’ve to say goodbye after my entire life here, ” Messi said.
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“These recent days I have been thinking about what I can say. The truth is that I can’t think of anything. This is very difficult for me, being here my entire life. I’m not ready for this.”
He added: “Today I have to say goodbye to all of this. Since I was 13, after 21 years, I’m leaving with my wife and with my three little children. This is our home.”
“Hopefully one day I can return to the club, to contribute and that Barça continues to be the best in the world.”
“We’ve not been able to play with the public this past year due to the pandemic. I leave this club without seeing the fans for a year and a half. I would have liked to say goodbye differently, with people at the stadium.”