Lionel Messi had a clause in his contract which allowed him to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of last season, but only if he informed the hierarchy by 10 June, something he did not do, only letting the club know in August.
And now Real Madrid legend Hugo Sanchez believes the 33-year-old was been forced to stay at Barcelona thanks to poor advice from his father.
Sanchez feels this was really poor planning from the Messi family and, despite him genuinely wanting to leave the club, meant that an exit was almost impossible.
The burofax sent to the club announcing the intention to leave, but not being able to do so, was a silly decision, believes the Mexican.
‘That untimely burofax only strengthened the image of the president of Barcelona and gave him time to weaken Messi’s decision,’ Sanchez told ESPN .
‘Messi has had no choice but to stay at Barcelona due to bad advice from his father and the law firm, because they could have saved that burofax. That has caused weakness to his image within the team.
‘Coincidentally, Messi had the lawyers who had previously worked with Barcelona, but due to a conflict of interest, the Catalan club changed its strategy.
‘If Messi and his father already had the decision to leave Barcelona, they should not have waited in time.
‘But before the end of the term agreed in the contract, they had to tell the club that they wanted to leave at the end of the season and on a free, without paying any compensation. If they had it planned, it should have been done that way.
‘Messi’s second problem was to send that burofax without certainty and guaranteeing that they had a team that would pay the €700m, which, due to the pandemic, no team in the world that can invest that amount.’
The Barcelona superstar says that it was in fact his family’s choice to stay at the club, not because he couldn’t secure a departure.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 years ago