An emotional Messi was in tears as soon as he got onto the stage, before delivering an emotional speech to say goodbye to the club, his former teammates, and the fans, which concluded with a long-standing ovation from those inside the studio.
When asked how things had broken down, the 10 times La Liga winner explained, “My new contract was done. All done. I wanted to stay and when I come back from holidays, it was done. …then it's how Laporta explained it.
“At the last minute, with everything with La Liga, it couldn't happen.”
The fans have not been able to see Messi at the Nou Camp since March 2020 and the 34-year-old said not being able to say goodbye to them was something he wished he could have done.
“If I dreamed of bidding farewell, I would like to say goodbye to a fully packed Camp Nou. I am grateful to everyone who loves and supports me.
“I've missed the fans so much over the past year. I think of those who sang my name.”
Here is the full-text of Lionel Messi's Barcelona Farewell Speech
“The truth is that I can’t think of anything what to say. This is so difficult for me. I’ve been here my entire life, I am not ready for this. My family and I were convinced we were going to stay here, that we were going to remain at home.”
“I am extremely grateful for this club. For my teammates, for my former teammates, for everything.. everything.. everything.. I have so much respect for this club. Beautiful things have happened here. At this club I have become the person that I am today.”
“I want to say it again. I am so grateful for the love that people have shown me here. I recognize your love, which I feel for you as well.”
“I did everything possible to stay here, so did Laporte. I have heard people say that I did not want to continue, but I did everything in my power to stay.”
“The news about Barça and Laporta asking me for a 30% salary reduction on Thursday is absolutely fake. It’s a lie. I offered to reduce my contract by 50%, and then they didn't ask me for anything else”.
“It’s going to be a difficult change, especially for my family. They thought they were going to stay in this city. But I know we are going to be okay. We take it on, and we have to move forward.”
“PSG is one possibility. But I can not confirm anything to you. Right now, nothing is closed. But we are talking about a lot of things.”
“I am not coming back to train, I am not coming back to the pitch, I am not coming back. This is the end at this club. And yes, this is the most difficult moment of my career.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago