Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said that he expected the club legend Lionel Messi to play for free rather than joining Paris Saint-Germain.
The president spoke to RAC 1 following Ferran Reverter’s due diligence findings, part of which he presented on Wednesday, October 6.
“I won’t say that I am angry with Messi. I can’t possibly be angry with a player who showed so much love for Barcelona. But we had reached a point where we both saw that it was no longer possible, and there was a slight disappointment from both sides.
“I knew that he wanted to stay but there was high pressure from Paris. Apparently they knew that if he didn’t stay at Barcelona he would move to Paris.
“At the time, Messi already had an offer from Paris and everyone knew that the offer was potent. But what I did expect from him was that the pace of negotiation would slow down and he would say, ‘I will play for free.’ That way I would have been convinced and I know that La Liga would have accepted it. But we were not able to ask a player of his level to do that for us,” Laporta said.
In a series of reports, CitizensAlert reported how Joan Laporta tacitly bundled Lionel Messi out of Barcelona and then put the blame on the salary cap imposed by Spanish football authorities. This was despite the fact that the president won his election promising that he would build his team around the Argentine.
The manner with which Messi was pushed out of the club led to the resignation of former club executive Jaume Llopis, who decided to leave in protest.
Messi spent 21 years of his life at Barcelona, scoring 672 goals in the process with several match-winning performances.