The superstar striker of FC Barcelona spoke at the microphone of La Sexta this Sunday evening.
The word of Lionel Messi is rare. And after a summer spent rushing into the stretchers to demand a departure from FC Barcelona, it was all the more expected. The 33-year-old Argentinian superstar spoke on a whole bunch of subject in an interview with La Sexta, including his childhood, Diego Maradona, his first complicated moments at Barça, his family, death … Messi also mentioned empty stadiums, in which it is “horrible” to play.
But he was especially expected on three points: Neymar, his future and Antoine Griezmann. Why Neymar? Because some candidates for the presidency of the Catalan club do not hesitate to dangle his return. And especially because the PSG striker has expressed his desire to play again with Messi next season in recent weeks, without specifying where. The Barça star answers him this Sunday. “We should ask Neymar why he said we were going to play together. We have a WhatsApp group with him and Luis Suárez, the Pulga is surprised. The last message with Neymar was about the Champions League draw. I didn’t want to face him now. ” We know that PSG will face Barça in the round of 16, on February 16 and March 10. In any case, Messi is hardly under any illusion: the Catalan club does not necessarily have the means to repatriate number 10 from Paris Saint-Germain… Asked about his possible return and the arrival of Xavi as a coach, he says: “It’s not easy either because there is no money and you have to recruit players to win big titles. This will be a very difficult situation for the new president (who will be elected on January 24, editor’s note). ”
Neymar, 28, is under contract until 2022 in Paris. Messi, he has only six months left before the end of his commitment to FC Barcelona. What about the future of the latter? He just said there is “nothing clear” for next season. “Now I just think about finishing the season and winning titles,” he says. Relaunched in a roundabout way on the tracks leading to Manchester City and Paris, the Argentine preferred to kick in touch.
In any case, he did not fail to recall that his links with the Blaugrana club are strong. “Barça is my life,” he insists. I’ve been here since I was 13, I’ve lived more in Barcelona than in Argentina and the club has given me everything as a person. I have a loving relationship for what I have experienced since arriving here. My children were born here too, ”he says. And to add: “Today, I am well. It’s true that I had a really bad time during the summer and before, because of the end of the season. I am excited even though the club is going through difficult times. The club is really bad, very bad, it will be difficult to get back to where we were. Burofax? In the last six months I told the president I was leaving, but he said no and I wanted to make it official. The 8-2 (defeat against Bayern in C1, editor’s note) was a difficult moment because of the way it was lost. I will always be eternally grateful to the club but I thought I had completed a cycle, that I deserved a change. I knew it was going to be a year of transition, with young people, but I wanted to keep fighting for the Champions League, for the championship. It was a very difficult decision to make, because I wanted to leave the club with my life. My family didn’t want to move either, my kids told me not to leave, but that was how I felt at the time. “
Note that Messi had made his decision before the departure of Luis Suarez. If he finally decided to stay, when he knew he was in his right, it was so as not to embarrass the club. “If I went to trial, the lawyers told me I was right, but I didn’t want to leave Barcelona like that,” he swears. All while accusing ex-President Bartomeu of having leaked information in the press to harm him.
Antoine Griezmann? Everything is fine, thank you for them. “My relationship with Griezmann is good. I never did everything that was said, that I didn’t want his signature. There is no problem with him, ”explains Messi. Moreover, the latter indulges in a compliment for the current coach of Barça, Ronald Koeman, who “does things very well”. The “best” is nevertheless Pep Guardiola. Although, Messi has “learned even more” with Luis Enrique. He nevertheless assures that when he speaks to Guardiola, it is not to discuss a potential meeting on the side of the Etihad Stadium.
What next? “I have not spoken to any candidate (for the presidency of Barça), promises Lionel Messi. I’m not lying to you. Now we have to organize the elections and see what happens. ” The person concerned mentions the possibility of joining the United States one day. For the rest, suspense. “I don’t know if I’m going to leave, but if I did, I would like to leave in the best way and be able to return to the club in the future,” he says, addressing the supporters. Barcelona are much bigger than any player. It’s a love affair from a young age with the club and the city. Either way, everything my career meant shouldn’t be stained. Everything is still outdated and we will see the end. ” And to conclude: “Hopefully we end this crappy year and that next year we will get out of this situation”. We will have to wait to know if it will be with or without Lionel Messi …