Breaking: Messi To Remain At Barcelona, Gives Reason
The decision comes after days Messi announced his intention to leave the club at the end of football season, which was to end in June but was extended to August due to coronavirus pandemic.
Read Also: Lionel Messi Asks To Leave Barcelona
Messi and his legal team argued that he had exercised a clause in his contract which enables him to leave for free at the end of each season.
Barcelona, however, said that the clause had expired in June and that Messi’s contract – which runs until 2021 – remains valid.
They claimed that if Messi insists on leaving, he or his next club would have to pay his €700 million release clause or face legal action.
La Liga backed up Barca’s position, saying they would not process Messi’s transfer unless his buyout clause was paid.
La Liga and Barcelona’s stance was however criticised by Messi’s father Jorge in a letter sent to La Liga on Friday, insisting that the €700 million fee is no longer applicable.
Lionel Messi, while speaking publicly for the first time about his exit plan and his reason for staying back, revealed;
I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not.
Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered all the season. And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club.
Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700 million (£624m) clause, and that this is impossible.
I would never in my life go against the club’s judgment and that is why I am staying in Barcelona. It was a tough decision. I always said I wanted to end my career here and I do.
The 33-year-old had refused to attend training sessions with new Barca coach Ronald Koeman, in the belief that doing so would undermine his legal case.
Messi will now rejoin his teammates to lead Koeman’s new-look team this season as they look to improve on a trophyless 2019-20 that saw them finish behind Real Madrid in La Liga and be knocked out of the Champions League in a humiliating 8-2 quarterfinal defeat to Bayern Munich.