This is it! It's the end of an era in Spanish football. It's the conclusion of one of the most beloved player-club associations in history of football. Yes, it's true. Yes, it's confirmed. Lionel Messi has said his final goodbye to FC Barcelona, a club where he spent 17 years of his career. Having always expressed his desire to retire at the same club, destiny had other plans for Messi as he has finally bid adieu to FC Barcelona during an emotional farewell press conference on Sunday.
It was always going to be a difficult address by Messi in front of the people he has spent the best days of his career. After his contract expired on 30 June 2021, there was a common belief across the transfer market and fans that he would be given a new contract very soon. Even Messi was ready to cut his wages by 50% to continue at FC Barcelona but things did not turn out the way it was planned. As per Spanish Liga regulations, it was not possible for the club to give Messi a new contract and that's how it all ended.
Messi receives standing ovation from friends and family
The press conference was being attended by Lionel Messi's wife, children, club president and his teammates. Reflecting on his departure, the 34-year-old said, "I was convinced to stay here at Barcelona. This is my home, our home. I wanted to stay at Barcelona and it was the plan, and today I’ve to say goodbye after my entire life here."
As soon as Messi finished his address, there was applause all around in the conference room as Messi broke down in tears. Everyone inside the room got up and gave a well-deserved standing ovation to the man who played 778 matches for the club, scoring 672 goals and registering 305 assists to his name.
Watch the video here:
I never imagined saying goodbye: Messi
In a truly devastating moment for all the Barcelona fans, Lionel Messi broke down during the press conference and melted into tears. "I've given everything for this club & this shirt from the first day to the last. The truth is I am leaving. I'm so grateful for the care people have shown me. I never imagined saying goodbye," Messi said during a heartwarming press conference.