Lionel Messi had an emotional farewell from Barcelona, as he held a press conference on Sunday afternoon, following the announcement he would be leaving the club.
Barcelona revealed earlier in the week that they wouldn’t be renewing the player’s contract due to financial constraints, meaning he would be leaving the Catalan giants after 21 years.
On Sunday, he held his final press conference at the Nou Camp to say goodbye to the club, his former teammates and the fans.
The football legend could not hold back tears as soon as he got onto the stage, before delivering an emotional speech that concluded with a long-standing ovation from those inside the studio, his teammates and coaches.
Messi had actually said he wanted to leave the club last summer, and he again confirmed that on Sunday but said that things were different this year in that he wanted to stay.
When asked how things had broken down, the 34-year-old said,
“My new contract was done. All done. I wanted to stay and when I come back from holiday, 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 10 times La Liga winner 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.