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Messi: “Hopefully I can return to this club, in whatever way”

Lionel Messi speaks for the last time from the Camp Nou / PAU BARRENA / AFP

The greatest player of all time – Lionel Messi is leaving FC Barcelona after being at the club for 21 years. He gave one last press conference from the Camp Nou before leaving the club of his life.

Messi got emotional before starting his farewell speech. After handling himself, Messi began with the press conference:

Messi: “I always tried to handle myself with humility, respect and I did so with everyone in this club. I hope this is what remains of me, apart from giving the club many things. I went through a lot of beautiful things, also bad, but that made me grow. I gave everything for this club and for this shirt from the first day I arrived till the last. I’m leaving more than satisfied. I would not have liked to say goodbye in this way, I never thought about it, but I would have liked to do it with people, in the field. I would have liked to hear one last ovation. I missed them so much during the pandemic, I wanted to hear an ovation with my name on it. If I had imagined it, it would be with the stadium full and being able to say goodbye well. It happened like that, but I want to thank all the affection of these years. The affection of the people was always the same and I felt the recognition and love of this club. Hopefully I can return to this club, in whatever way. Hopefully I can contribute so that this club continues to be the best in the world. Surely at the moment I might forget many things, I am not in the best condition. Thanks to all the world.”

An emotional Lionel Messi at the press conference / PAU BARRENA / AFP

As if it were the Camp Nou, the audience got up and broke into a massive applause for Leo for the last time.

He then went on to answer questions from the press.

On his favorite moment from his time at the club

“It is very difficult to stay with a moment. There are many years, many things lived. Perhaps the moment when I made my debut was the moment of everything, it was to make my dream come true. Everything that came after was wonderful.”

On if he arrived in Barcelona with the intention of renewing

“Laporta already said it. Everything was arranged, but due to the LaLiga issue, it couldn’t be done. We had everything agreed.”

On if Barça did everything to make him stay

“I did everything possible. The club said that it could not be due to a LaLiga issue, but I heard many things about why I did not continue. Last year I did not want to stay, but this year I did.”

On the saddest thing about this ending

“A lot of things go through my head, I’m a bit blocked. To this day I don’t fall into the reality of leaving this place, this club, of changing my life completely. I’ve been in the first team for 16 years and now it’s time to start from scratch. It is a hard change for my family, because I know what they feel to be in this city, but I know that we are going to adapt and be well. We have to accept it and assimilate it, start again.”

On his next destination

“PSG is a possibility, but at this point I have nothing with anyone. When the statement came out I had several calls from interested clubs. There is still nothing closed, but we are talking.”

On how he would like to be remembered

“I grew up with the values ​​of this club and I tried to handle myself with humility and respect, wearing the Barça shirt. I want to be recognized for that in addition to what I did on the field. I am grateful for my career, with the titles won and also in defeats. They are very beautiful images. The celebrations with the people, being able to celebrate with my wife and my children. I have many to remember.”

On if this is the hardest moment of his career

“Yes, without a doubt. It is the end in this club and another story begins. I have had many hard moments and defeats, but this is one of the most difficult moments.”

On how he feels about leaving the club

“Sadness, a lot of sadness, because I’m leaving the club that I love. I didn’t expect it, I always went straight ahead telling the truth. Last year I wanted to leave, not this one.”

On how he imagines Barça without him

“Players will continue to come to Barça. The club is more important than anyone else and people will get used to it. At first it will be strange, but great players have come and they have a great squad.” 

On if he knew at the end of the season that he was going to leave

“The reality is that when the elections happened I went to eat with the president and we talked and then I was convinced that I was going to continue, that we were not going to have any problem fixing it. Then what happened happened and it couldn’t be. We already knew what we had planned to do.”

On if he’s willing to come back for a tribute at the Camp Nou

“Obviously yes. It will not be now, but for these people I am willing to do anything.”

On false hopes about his continuity

“No, false hopes, no. We were convinced that I would stay. It was so clear that we had everything settled and without problems. I think I was always honest with people. We were always sincere on my part, I never deceived people.”

On what he would say to Javier Tebas

“I do not know well about the fabric of all this. It was not possible because of LaLiga, because of the club’s debt. I have nothing to say to Tebas, I crossed him a couple of times and had a cordial greeting. I have no problem with Tebas.”

On how the news made him feel

“It was a bucket of cold water, very sad, hard. To this day we are assimilating it as best as we can. When I leave here the chips will fall even more, but the important thing is that I will be wrapped up in myself and my family and that I am going to continue playing football. When I play again, all this will pass me a bit.”

On the possibility of playing for a rival club

“The people of Barça know me, they know that I am a winner and I want to continue competing. I want to continue like this, adding titles. By the way I want to congratulate Dani Alves for the Olympic gold. People know me well enough to question me, I have to find my way to continue competing and winning.”

On the news surrounding his photo in Ibiza with the PSG players

“It was nonsense. I had spoken with Di María and Paredes to meet in Ibiza. Ney also called me and told me he was in Ibiza. I told them to come to my house and we ate. We all took a photo, nothing more. They told me to go to Paris as a joke, but it was a coincidence. It was given a lot of importance, but it was just a photo with friends, which we shared on vacation.” 

On why the door is closed to a negotiation when there is so much time left in the transfer window

“The president explained it. The club has a very large debt and does not want to go into more. Why stretch it further if it is almost impossible. I have to think about my future and my career, that’s what I have to start with from now.”

On how many years he has left in his career

“It depends on how the physicist responds to me. I have many colleagues who tell me that it is difficult every day. We are used to a routine and then, it is hard. Until I can, I will continue competing.” 

On if they could have found a way for him to stay

“I did everything possible to stay and it couldn’t happen. I have nothing more to say, we did everything we could.”

On if there were any more trophies he would have liked to win

“I still have the thorn of not having won another Champions League. We were very close in the Liverpool semifinals and in the semifinals against Chelsea with Pep. We could have won another Champions League, but I have no regrets. We always try to do our best, but it is true that we were left with the thorn of not having won some more. My goal is to continue winning some trophies and try to catch Dani (Alves). I will try to get closer, at least.”

On if he could have reduced his salary even more

“I was down 50%, we closed the contract and nothing more was asked of me. The rest is a lie. We did everything possible and it did not happen. There are many things that are said that are not true.”

On if he felt cheated 

“No, we did everything possible and it could not be done. I speak for myself only, but I was always face to face with the club. I was always transparent. But when you don’t talk much, they say a lot of things. You have to fill in, speak, give your opinion. Everyone can have their say, whatever they want. It was important for me to tell the truth to the people I grew up with all these years.” 

Lionel Messi with his career trophies / FC BARCELONA

After a 40-minute press conference, the audience stood up again and broke into an applause for the phenomenon that is Leo Messi.