In an emotional tribute, Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi bids farewell to his club for 21 years. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is leaving Barcelona, having arrived from Argentina at the age of 13. Last week, the Spanish club announced that Messi will not be signing a new contract due to “economic and structural obstacles.” Follow our Asian bookies football to get free betting tips and rewards.
“Today I have to say goodbye to this, as I said before, it was many years, all my life here. After 21 years I’m going with my wife and three Argentine Catalans. I cannot be prouder of everything I did and lived in this city, which I have no doubt that after being away for a few years we will return because it is our home, because that is how I promised my children too,” Messi said.
Messi also confirmed that he didn’t want to leave Barca after returning from the Copa America 2021 win. “I am really sad because I didn’t want to leave because this is the club I love,” he said. “I didn’t expect this. I have never lied; I have always been honest and upfront. Last year I wanted to leave; this year I didn’t.” An emotional Messi received a standing ovation in his final Barcelona press conference.
Messi in a press interview after the tribute confirmed that joining PSG was “a possibility, but nothing is agreed” yet. The 34-year-old is reportedly close to agreeing a two year deal with PSG and play for the Ligue 1 outfit until 2023, with a net salary of 35 million euros at the end of every season. Sources also said that the deal includes an option to extend his stay with the French side for an additional year.
Reports also claim that Messi has two other potential options – Manchester City and Real Madrid – but PSG remain the favorites to sign him. “I received a lot of calls after the Barcelona statement. We are still talking about it. nothing is closed yet,” Messi responded. Asked about the prospect of joining a rival, he added: “There is no doubt that I will go to a team that will compete with Barca.”
The Argentine international, who made his Barcelona debut in 2004, has won 10 La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with the Catalan club. He has won 35 trophies in 17 seasons with Barcelona and helped the club win the Champions League four times, the Spanish league 10 times, the Copa del Rey seven times and the Spanish Super Cup eight times.
He is currently the team’s all-time leading scorer with 672 goals in 778 appearances, and the top scorer in the Spanish league with 474 goals in 520 matches. He also is the player with most matches with the club. His 26 goals against Real Madrid are a record for the ‘clasico’ matches against Barcelona’s fiercest rival. An official announcement about the signing is expected in the coming days.
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