Lionel Messi holds an emotional FC Barcelona press convention.
Albert Gea | REUTERS
Lionel Messi wept on Sunday as he bade farewell to his boyhood crew FC Barcelona and confirmed he was speaking with French membership Paris St Germain over a potential transfer.
The 34-year-old Argentine’s emotional information convention adopted Barca’s announcement final week that it might now not afford him after a glittering 20 years.
French newspaper L’Equipe reported on Sunday that he’ll journey to Paris both Sunday or Monday to undertake a medical and finalize a cope with the Qatar Sports activities Funding-owned membership.
Whereas Messi didn’t verify he would undoubtedly be a part of the Parisians, he mentioned his plans had been to hold on enjoying so long as potential, including he nonetheless harbors ambitions to win one other Champions League trophy.
“So long as I am going on being aggressive and so long as my physique responds (I am going to keep on enjoying),” he informed a information convention.
“So long as I can, I’ll keep on competing.”
PSG declined to touch upon the report that Messi could be arriving in Paris afterward Sunday. “We aren’t able to verify something,” a membership spokesman mentioned.
“I attempted to behave with humility and respect and I hope that’s what stays of me after I go away the membership,” mentioned an emotional Messi as lots of of followers, many carrying his No. 10 jersey, massed outdoors Barca’s Camp Nou stadium to bid farewell to the participant they known as Messiah.
Messi broke down as he walked onto the stage earlier than conducting his information convention and was handed a tissue by his spouse Antonella Roccuzzo as he fought again the tears.
“That is the hardest second of my profession. When the membership informed me, I simply froze. That is all like a bucket of chilly water has been poured over me and we’re nonetheless coming to phrases with it,” he sobbed.
“Once I get dwelling, I am certain it’s going to be even worse. However I will be surrounded by my family members and I am going to keep on enjoying soccer, and after I achieve this, I am certain it’s going to turn into a bit simpler.”
It had been broadly reported by native media that Messi was set to remain at Camp Nou, with the participant admitting he had agreed to a five-year deal involving a 50% pay-cut.
Barca, whose money owed complete manner over 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion), had been unable to make the deal work inside the frameworks of La Liga’s monetary honest play rules — prompting their shock U-turn announcement final Thursday.
“Truthfully, when the elections occurred (in March), I spoke with (Barca president Joan) Laporta, we had dinner and after that I used to be satisfied I might be staying,” Messi mentioned.
“My contract was by no means the problem … What I do know is that I did the whole lot I might. The membership say it couldn’t occur due to La Liga. I can assure you that I did the whole lot I might to remain. Final yr I did not need to and I mentioned that, however this yr it was totally different.”
La Liga introduced final Wednesday that it had secured a non-public fairness injection of two.7 billion euros from agency CVC, with the funds to be shared amongst the golf equipment in return for a ten% of the league’s income.
It had been believed this might permit Barcelona to get the Messi deal over the road, nevertheless after Actual Madrid rejected the proposal and mentioned they might take authorized motion in opposition to La Liga, Barca additionally got here out in opposition to it.
Laporta informed a information convention on Friday that Barca’s funds had been in worse form than he had thought after conducting an audit.
He added the league knowledgeable him that accepting this injection was the one manner they might approve a brand new contract for Messi, however rejected that saying he needed to put the long-term pursuits of the membership above any participant.
Messi, Barca’s all-time goalscorer with 682 in 21 years, broke down in tears earlier than giving a speech and was greeted by a prolonged standing ovation from the media, present and former teammates and coaches in attendance.
It was noticeable that he was not accompanied by Laporta or any of the opposite Barcelona administrators through the act.
All 35 trophies he received throughout his time on the membership had been laid out for what the membership described could be a non-public photograph session after the information convention.
Barcelona faces Juventus in a pre-season pleasant on Sunday, with no person given Messi’s No.10 shirt for the sport.
The membership has not confirmed in the event that they plan on leaving it vacant for the upcoming season or assigning it to a squad member.
La Liga guidelines solely permit 25 senior gamers to be registered within the squad, so ought to Barca resolve to retire the quantity in his honor, they are going to be decreasing the squad dimension.