Lionel Messi has spectacularly revealed that he wanted to QUIT Barcelona during his £2.95million tax row with the Spanish government – and it was only a lack of offers from elsewhere that kept him at the club.
Messi has played for Barca for his entire professional career, and has often spoken about his desire to be a one-club man, but it could have all been very different had an offer come about in the summer of 2017.
Speaking in an interview with RAC1, the Argentine said: ‘At that time, with the mess of the treasury, I wanted to leave, not for wanting to leave Barca but wanting to leave Spain.
‘I felt that I was being very mistreated and I didn’t want to stay here. I never had an official offer because everyone knew my idea to stay here.’
When pushed further on his tax fraud case, which ended with him having to pay a £223,000 fine, he added: ‘It was very difficult for me and my family because people don’t know much about what’s going on.
‘The truth is that it was hard for everything that happened but it is better that my children were small and did not know.’
As it is, Messi remains at the Nou Camp and is currently playing in his 16th professional season with the club.
Since his debut in November 2003, he has scored 604 goals for the club in 692 matches, and still looks to have plenty more years in his locker.
When questioned about his future, Messi said: ‘Today my idea and that of my family is to end here.
‘Especially first because of how I am in the club, how I feel in the club, then because of the familiar, for how good we are in this city, for my children, for not changing my friendships and I don’t want it broken because I had to live it on my personal level. ‘