Lionel Messi admits for the first time that he wanted to quit Barcelona amid tax row

83   //    Modified 10 Oct 2019

Lionel Messi considered leaving Barcelona after being targeted by Spanish tax authorities in the early 2010s.

Messi said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC1 on Wednesday that he felt he wasn't treated well in Spain and didn't want to stay in the country after being accused of not paying his taxes properly.

Messi's problems with the Spanish authorities started in the 2013-14 season and he eventually received a suspended 21-month jail sentence after being found guilty of defrauding tax authorities of 4.1 million euros (then $4.6 million).

Messi also reiterated his wish to have Neymar back with the club, and that he believed the Brazil forward would have ended up playing for Real Madrid if he didn't join Barcelona.

Messi said he wished Ronaldo would have stayed at Real Madrid because his presence was good for the Spanish league and the rivalry with Barcelona.

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