Why Lionel Messi decided to stay at FC Barcelona

September 5, 2020

“I will stay at the club so as not to get into a legal dispute,” Messi said, contending that the team had acted in bad faith.

Lionel Messi is still angry with Barcelona. He is still frustrated with Barcelona. But, in a sudden and dramatic reversal, he said Friday that he is not prepared to go to war with Barcelona and, so, will stay after all.

The decision is an abrupt about-face for Messi, who on Aug. 25 informed the club in writing that he would exercise a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave the club unilaterally. It also spares the team the embarrassment of losing its most beloved, and most valuable, asset without receiving a transfer fee.

“I wasn’t happy and I wanted to leave,” Messi said in the Goal interview. “I have not been allowed this in any way and I will stay at the club so as not to get into a legal dispute. The management of the club led by Bartomeu is a disaster.”

He added: “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.”

The tone on the club’s Twitter account, however, painted a far different picture.