Lionel Messi’s heartwarming social media post after confirming Barcelona U-turn
Lionel Messi has posted a picture of his three sons on social media after citing their reaction as a major reason in his decision to stay at Barcelona.
The Argentine sent a burofax to the Catalan club indicating his desire to quit last week.
But talks over his potential departure quickly turned sour with Barcelona demanding his £632m release clause be paid in full.
Messi’s team believed he could still activate a clause his contract that allows him to leave for free, but the 33-year-old didn’t want to drag the club he loves through a court case.
He also recalled, as he announced to the world that he would be staying at the Nou Camp, how his eldest son Thiago reacted to the new he was set to leave.
He told Goal : “When I communicated my wish to leave to my wife and children, it was a brutal drama.
“The whole family began crying, my children did not want to leave Barcelona, nor did they want to change schools.
“But I looked further afield and I want to compete at the highest level, win titles, compete in the Champions League. You can win or lose in it, because it is very difficult, but you have to compete.
“Mateo is still little and he doesn’t realise what it means to go somewhere else and make your life a few years elsewhere.
“Thiago, he is older. He heard something on TV and found out something and asked.
“I didn’t want him to know anything about being forced to leave, to have to live in a new school, or make new friends.
“He cried to me and said ‘let’s not go’. I repeat that it was hard, really.
“It was understandable. It happened to me. It is very difficult to make a decision. I love Barcelona and I’m not going to find a better place than here anywhere.
“Still, I have the right to decide. I was going to look for new goals and new challenges. And tomorrow I could go back, because here in Barcelona I have everything.
“My son, my family, they grew up here and are from here. There was nothing wrong with wanting to leave.
“I needed it, the club needed it and it was good for everyone.”