After one of the most high-profile transfer sagas over the last decade or so unfolded this summer, Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi has decided to put the controversial contract dispute with the club behind him.
The Argentine openly sought an exit from the Nou Camp recently after reportedly being disheartened at the way the club was run. Messi slammed the club's lack of a project and ambition in an explosive interview, during which he revealed how close he really was to an exit.
The Argentina legend's camp was insistent on leaving this summer as they hoped to activate a clause in his contract which allowed him to leave for free at the end of any given campaign.
However, he didn't get his wish as Barcelona, along with LaLiga Santander, insisted that Messi's staggering €700m release clause remains active and that the window for the other clause had expired.
Manchester City, the club that were best poised to land Messi, would have had to pay the full amount if they wanted to bring the Catalans' captain to England.
Ultimately, Messi decided to stay at Barcelona and see out the remaining year of his contract at the Nou Camp. He has seemingly offered an olive branch to try and mend his fractured relationship with the Blaugrana.
Messi believes his actions were 'only to make FC Barcelona better and stronger'
Leo Messi addressed the controversial summer saga surrounding his future in an exclusive interview with Spanish outlet SPORT. The Barcelona skipper began;
"After so many disagreements, I would like to bring an end to everything. We all have to be united and assume that the best is yet to come. I take responsibility for my errors and if they existed, it was only to make FC Barcelona better and stronger."
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner insisted that whatever he did was with the club's best interests in mind. He continued,
"I wanted to send a message to all the socios and fans that follow us. If at any moment, any of them were annoyed by something that I said or did, let there be no doubts that anything I did was always with the club's best interests in mind."
Should Barcelona and Messi fail to come to terms over a new contract, the Argentine would be free to walk away from the club on a free come next summer. However, the 33-year-old insists that the only way to achieve success is by remaining united. Ending on a relatively positive note, Messi remarked;
"Uniting passion with excitement and motivation will be the only way to achieve our objectives, always united and rowing in the same direction."
Messi returned to action in a dominant 4-0 win against Unai Emery's Villarreal in Ronald Koeman's first competitive game as the manager of his former club. The former Spanish champions are set to take on Celta Vigo in their next match.
Published 30 Sep 2020, 21:16 IST