Magician Lionel Messi - Farewell Press Conference

Lionel Messi started his career in FC Barcelona at the age of 13 with a contract signed on a  paper napkin by Barcelona scout Carles Rexach. Unfortunately, it also ended with a tissue paper provided by his wife Antonela Roccuzzo for wiping his tears after a terrific breakdown of contract renewal by him and the Barcelona board. The history of these two events is huge which is 21 years long. He has won 35 trophies for Barcelona by scoring 672 goals. He is the leading goal scorer for Barcelona who scored 48 hat-tricks in his club career. He was awarded Ballon d'Or the most six times. He is also indebted to Barcelona so much because of his growth hormone treatment at an early age which costs at least $1000 per month. 

In his farewell, Messi was already in tears before even the press conference started. Then he delivered a short speech in front of all the former and present teammates, board officials, family members, and journalists. 

Messi: "I've been turning it around for the last few days, thinking what I could say, but I'm blocked. This is very difficult for me, after so many years, of my whole life here ... I'm not ready, and honestly last year with all the nonsense, I was convinced I knew what I wanted to leave but this year is not the same."

- “My family and I were convinced I wanted to stay here, that’s what we all wanted more than anything. We thought we’d be staying here in Barcelona, today I have to say goodbye to all of this,”

- “We’ve always made this our home, we’re at home and we thought we’d be staying here in Barcelona.”

- “I’ve been here so many years, my entire life since I was 13. After 21 years, I’m leaving with my wife, my three little Catalan-Argentine kids, and I can’t tell you we won’t come back because this is my home, and I promised my children that."

- "I am really grateful for everything, for my teammates, for all my former teammates, everything at the club, every one by my side, all the people even though some of us I met only a few times."

-“I tried to behave with humility and respect, and I hope that is what remains of me when I leave the club."

- "There have been so many good times, and also some bad ones, but that has helped me to grow and become the person that I am. I was convinced we were going to stay, which is what we all wanted, but today it turns out I have to say goodbye."

-"I've always given my all for this club and this shirt, from the first day to the last. I would have liked to say goodbye in another way, no one imagined a farewell like that. I would have liked to say goodbye. In the field having heard one last ovation. I missed them"

-"We've not been able to play public this past year because of the pandemic. It has been difficult not to hear their cheers, not to have them nearby, not to hear shouting my name and I leave the club now without seeing the fans for a year and a half.  I have always felt the love of the fans though and hopefully, I'll be back at some point in the future to do something for the club, that I can contribute things to make this club the best in the world."

A round of applause as Messi thanks everyone for everything and Messi breaks down in tears at the ovation he is receiving.

Watch the video of applause here.

  • Asked to pick a moment for the memory

Messi: "It's difficult, but I think the day I made my debut. That was the start of everything, it was my dream come true."

  • Messi is asked about PSG
Messi: "It's a possibility but nothing is decided yet. I haven't got anything arranged with anybody. When the announcement was made I had a lot of phone calls, several clubs were interested. Nothing is decided yet but we are in talks..."

Messi answering some of the questions askedDown pointing backhand index

 "Last year I wanted to leave, but this year I didn't. I was always completely upfront about everything and I have to leave the club I love."

-"This is the most difficult moment of my career. I have been through tough moments, defeats... but the next day you go back to training and you have another chance to avenge yourself. That isn't going to happen here, it's the end. Now another chapter starts."

-"There were never any false expectations. We were convinced I would be staying. It was all arranged and there were no problems. I think I have always been honest with people. As I said before, it didn't happen because of the things I mentioned. For my part, I was never dishonest with anyone. We agreed to a 50% pay cut and they didn't ask me for anything else. Everything else is false. We did everything possible but it couldn't be done. There have been a lot of things said that aren't true." 

Photo with PSG players in Ibiza: "The photograph in Ibiza with the PSG players is just a coincidence. Neymar called me and we got together with Di María and Paredes. Verratti was also there. They said as a joke I was going to Paris. It was a coincidence and people made what they made of the photo. It was just a thing among friends on holiday, nothing else."

How long does Messi think he has left as a player? "It depends on how my body responds. I have many teammates who say it is difficult from day to day. We are used to a routine and then later it's difficult. I'll keep going while I can still compete."

-"After the election, I went to lunch with the new president and I was pretty sure I wanted to continue, I didn't have any doubts. My contract has never been a problem."

-"Barça is the biggest team in the world and has a great squad. I don't know if now or later, but there will be more players. As Laporta said, the club is above everything.

-"For this hobby, I am willing to do anything and yes, I would like to come back in the future and have a tribute."

-“I’m really sad because I didn’t want to leave this club. I love Barcelona and I wanted to stay, my contract was ready. I did everything in my possibility to stay”."For my part, I never cheated on anyone"

-"One of my goals is to win the Champions League again."

And that brings the press conference to an end. Messi receives another standing ovation and now the press is being asked to clear the room so that Messi, his family, and teammates can have some private time for photos with a pretty impressive collection of silverware.


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