Lionel Messi has slammed Barcelona president Joan Laporta for thinking that he would’stay and play for free’ to help the Catalan club through its financial difficulties.
In the midst of their historic financial troubles, the club could not afford to maintain hold of its greatest ever player, with the club racking up more than £1 billion in debt and making a £409 million deficit last season.
While Messi agreed to a 50% pay cut, the club was unable to find a solution to keep him, and the Argentine ended his 18-year association with the club to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
In a recent interview, Laporta shockingly admitted that he had hoped Messi would stay and play for free, a remark that has ‘hurt’ the 34-year-old.
Speaking about his departure, Messi told Spanish newspaper Sport: ‘The truth is that, as I explained when I left, I did everything possible to stay.
‘I was never asked to play for free. I was asked to pay my salary with fifty percent. I did that without any problem. That’s how I wanted to help Barcelona. It was my and my family’s desire to stay in Barcelona. The president’s words were really not okay. They hurt me.
Source : daily mail