Messi during his interview with Mundo Deportivo y Sport at his residence in Paris, June 2023. Photo: Taken from Mundo Deportivo.
In an interview shared with the two Catalan specialized media Sport and Mundo Deportivo, a few days after putting on the PSG shirt for the last time, Lionel Messi has explained his decision not to return to FC Barcelona, as was his wish, and discard the very high offer of Saudi Al Hilal to go to Inter Miami.
Barça: "I didn't want to go through all that" again
Weeks ago, much of this new soap opera focused on Messi's future at Barcelona has shown us the Catalan club pending acceptance of its viability plan, which has already happened; to managers assuring that the priority was Messi and to coach Xavi Hernández declaring how good it would be for Barça the arrival of Messi and that the will existed on the part of the Club, which was now in the hands of the Argentine star.
But the reality is that at this point there is still no standing offer from Barcelona to Messi, and among fans and press the ghost of August 2021 began to appear, when only hours before everything seemed about to renew, it did not happen because, it was alleged, financial difficulties.
"Smokescreen", "they are playing with Messi", many began to say this time, because everything pointed to history repeating itself.
In his interview with Mundo Deportivo y Sport at his residence in Paris, the seven-time Ballon d'Or and world champion in Qatar 2022 said:
"I was very excited, very excited to be able to return, but, on the other hand, after having lived what I lived and the exit I had, I did not want to be in the same situation again: wait to see what was going to happen and leave my future in someone else's hands, so to speak."
The Rosario, for whom the departure of Barça at the last minute and after a long wait to renew was traumatic in 2021, explained that "I wanted to make my own decision, thinking about me, my family. Although I heard that it was said that LaLiga had accepted everything and that everything was fine for him to return, there were still many other things that had to be done.
"I heard that they had to sell players or lower salaries to players and the truth is that I did not want to go through that, or take charge of obtaining something that had to do with all that. I was already accused of many things that were not true in my career at Barcelona and I was already a bit tired, I didn't want to go through all that."
He recalled that "the time I had to leave, LaLiga had also accepted to be registered and in the end it could not be done. I was afraid that the same thing would happen again and have to walk to the bullfight also as it happened, that I had to come here to Paris to be in a hotel for a long time with my family, with my children going to school and still being in the hotel ...
"I wanted to make my own decision and that's why I didn't return to Barca. While I would have loved it, I couldn't."
According to Leo, the family also had weight in the decision.
"I'm in a moment where I want to get out of focus a little bit, think more about my family. I spent two years that at the family level I was so bad that I did not enjoy it. I had the month that was spectacular for me to have won the World Cup, but taking that out, it was a difficult stage for me.
"I want to reconnect with the enjoyment of my family, my children, the day to day ... And that's why it was a bit of a decision not to give up Barcelona."
In the last hours, the intention to hire Tata Martino, with whom Messi has already worked, and contact Luis Suárez as part of a plan to reunite Messi and several of his great friends and teammates from several seasons at Barça sounded more strongly: the Uruguayan himself, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
(News under construction)