Despite a clear desire to leave, Lionel Messi is staying with Barcelona. Ultimately, the decision came down to money.
The club claims that either Messi or his next team would have to pay the €700 million release clause. Otherwise, Messi would face legal action.
“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,” Messi said.
“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.
“And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700 million ($823m) clause, and that this is impossible,” he said.
Messi will now return to training sessions after previously refusing to attend. His contract runs through 2021.