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FC Barcelona Idol Lionel Messi Discusses Retirement And Club Exit

Lionel Messi revealed the conditions for his retirement and said he wasn’t ready to leave FC Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 during an interview with Big Time.

A tearful Messi famously fled the club of his life in the summer of that year, after Barca president Joan Laporta failed to navigate Financial Fair Play limits and make the numbers work on a contract renewal he promised as part of his election campaign.

Reflecting on that sad period when appearing on the Big Time podcast, Messi said: “It was difficult to change [clubs] when I went to PSG, because I was very well at Barcelona and I thought I was going to stay there.

“I wasn’t ready to leave, everything happened very quickly. I had to rebuild my life from one day to the next. I got to know another league, another club, a new locker room. It was a change we weren’t looking for and that’s why it was difficult at the beginning,” Messi added.

That switch, from the Catalan capital to its French counterpart, was only the second major move Messi had made in his life up until then.

In 2000, he fled his hometown Rosario in Argentina to join the La Masia academy on the cusp of adolescence, as part of what proved to be another tricky adjustment.

“For me it was difficult when I arrived in Barcelona. I was a kid and I had to adapt to new friends, a new country, a new city, new people, a new school,” Messi reminisced.

“It was hard for me at the beginning, but I thought I was doing what I wanted, playing football, in a great team like Barcelona, and that made me able to keep going.

“It was impressive and I enjoyed it a lot. They’ve always treated me very well in Barcelona, I’m grateful to them.”

Messi had the chance to return to Barca in 2023 when his PSG contract expired.

With Laporta still unable to balance the books, however, the World Cup winner didn’t want to be responsible for player sales to make the transfer happen, and instead headed west to Inter Miami therefore ending his European club career.

Turning 37 this summer, Messi can probably see the light at the end of the tunnel and discussed his retirement.

“I know that the moment I feel that I am no longer able to perform, that I no longer enjoy [playing] or [can] help my teammates, I will quit.

“I’m very self-critical of myself, I know when I’m good, when I’m bad, when I’m playing well and when I’m playing badly.

“When I feel it’s time to take that step, I’ll take it without thinking about age. If I feel good, I’ll always try to keep competing because it’s what I like and I know how to do,he vowed.

“I haven’t yet thought of what I’m going to do when I retire,” Messi confessed. “Today I try to enjoy the day to day, the moments, without thinking about life after [football].

“I’m not sure about anything yet, I hope to keep playing for a while longer, which is what I like to do. When the time comes, I will surely find a way to fulfil myself and do what I like, and [find] a new role.

“On a sporting level I was lucky enough to be able to achieve all my dreams and the truth is that I can’t ask for more. Thank God he gave me [everything] both professionally and on a human level, as well as my family, my friends.

“I try to enjoy everything God has given me so far, which is a lot,” Messi concluded.

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