Lionel Messi wept on Sunday as he bade farewell to his boyhood team FC Barcelona.
The 34-year-old Argentine’s emotional news conference followed Barca’s announcement last week that it could no longer afford him after a glittering two decades.
French newspaper L’Equipe reported on Sunday that Messi will travel to Paris either Sunday or Monday to undertake a medical and finalise a deal with the Qatar Sports Investment-owned club.
Spanish newspaper Marca reported PSG formally sent their offer to Messi on Sunday morning, just as the football star held a news conference.
While Messi did not confirm he would definitely join the Parisians, he said that his plans were to carry on playing as long as possible, adding he still harbours ambitions to win another Champions League trophy.
“As long as I go on being competitive and as long as my body responds (I’ll carry on playing),” he told a news conference.
“As long as I can, I will carry on competing.”
“I tried to behave with humility and respect and I hope that is what remains of me when I leave the club,” said an emotional Messi as hundreds of fans, many wearing his No. 10 jersey, amassed outside Barca’s Camp Nou stadium to bid farewell to the player they called Messiah.
Messi broke down as he walked onto the stage before conducting his news conference and was handed a tissue by his wife Antonella Roccuzzo as he fought back the tears.
“This is the toughest moment of my career. When the club told me, I just froze. This is all like a bucket of cold water has been poured over me and we are still coming to terms with it,” he sobbed.
“When I get home, I’m sure it’ll be even worse. But I’ll be surrounded by my loved ones and I’ll carry on playing football, and when I do so, I’m sure it’ll become a bit easier.”
It had been widely reported by local media that Messi was set to stay at Camp Nou, with the player admitting he had agreed to a five-year deal involving a 50% pay-cut.
The six-time Ballon D’or winner has been at Barcelona for 21 years and became its all-time top goalscorer with 682.
Meanwhile, many notables wished him luck.
Leave a Reply