Lionel Messi says he did everything he could to extend his stay with Barcelona but claimed it was just not possible due to LaLiga rules.
Messi, whose contract expired at the end of last season, was set to sign a new deal at Camp Nou, reportedly agreeing to a 50 per cent wage cut with club president Joan Laporta.
However, the Catalan giants announced on Thursday that they were unable to reach an agreement with the 34-year-old due to “financial and structural obstacles.”
An emotional Messi addressed the world at a news conference on Sunday, in front of the media, his family, Barca team-mates and club officials.
“What’s clear is that I did everything possible, they couldn’t do it because of LaLiga,” he said.
“We did everything we could because I wanted to stay.
“Last year, I didn’t want to stay and I said it. This year, I wanted to stay and I couldn’t.
“Everything was arranged with Laporta and the club, but it wasn’t possible in the end and that’s all there is to it.
“A lot was said and from my part, I wanted to stay as well, but it just couldn’t be done because of things to do with LaLiga.”
The scene right now outside Camp Nou: pic.twitter.com/ecF6ZMdPbM
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 8, 2021
The announcement that Messi would leave Barcelona sent shockwaves around the globe, while he has received many messages of support from current and ex-team-mates.
The Blaugrana will prepare for life without him for the first time since his senior debut for the club during the 2004-05 season.
But the Argentine, who scored a staggering 672 goals in all competitions, says that people will get used to the thought of him no longer strolling the Camp Nou turf.
“Barcelona is one of the best teams in the world, they have an amazing line-up,” he added.
“A lot of players will come and go, and like Joan Laporta said, this club is more important than any one person.
“People will get used to it, at first it will be weird but like everything, people will get used to it.
“They have great players, a great squad and in the end, it will be easy for them.”