▲Lionel Messi shed tears during a farewell press conference at Camp Nou, the home stadium of FC Barcelona, Spain on the 8th Korean time. (EPA/Yonhap News)
Lionel Messi (34, Argentina), who had to leave Barcelona after playing for 21 years, finally shed tears at a press conference.
On the 8th (Korean time), Messi held a farewell press conference at FC Barcelona’s home stadium, Camp Nou, and delivered his final goodbyes. “I thought about what to talk about for a few days, but I couldn’t think of it,” he said, expressing his disappointment, saying, “I’m not ready (to leave the team) yet.”
Barcelona announced their breakup with Messi on the 6th for financial reasons. Messi, whose contract expired in June of this year, sought to renew his contract with Barcelona, but was hampered by the ‘proportional salary cap’ system that prevents the team’s personnel expenses from exceeding a certain percentage compared to the club’s total income in the Spanish La Liga. .
FC Barcelona, which is suffering from financial difficulties in the aftermath of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), could not afford to sign a contract with Messi. Messi agreed to a 50% salary cut, but the club is said to have given up on his contract renewal.
“Last year I was thinking of leaving (Barcelona), but this year I didn’t. “I wanted to stay at Barcelona,” he said. “From the first day I joined this club, I gave everything for the team. I never thought I would say goodbye like this.”
Messi signed a contract with the Barcelona youth team in 2000 and made his first-team debut in 2004. He looked shocked at the fact that he had to leave the team he had been with for 21 years.
Messi promised to return to Barcelona someday. “There were good moments and bad moments, but the love people showed me was the same,” he said. “I want to come back someday and help this club become the best in the world.”
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), France, is being discussed as the next destination for Messi after becoming free. Regarding the move to PSG, Messi said: “There is a possibility. Nothing has been confirmed,” he explained.
The press conference was attended by Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman and former and current players who played with Messi. Numerous fans also shared Messi’s final moments outside of Camp Nou.