Lionel Messi has called speculation that he asked for a wage increase of 30 per cent a “lie” as he waved farewell to his time at Barcelona.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta announced that La Liga spending rules had thwarted their attempts to sign Messi up to a new contract with the club confirming on Thursday that the Argentina international would be leaving the club.

Messi spoke at a Sunday morning press conference in which he gave an emotional goodbye speech and answered questions from the media.


‘Messi played safe his whole career and will finish in safety too’


The Argentine has confirmed that he accepted a contract offer reducing his wages by 50 per cent and that rumours he wanted 30 per cent more are a “lie”.

Messi said: “I would’ve liked to have won another Champions League, I have the opinion we could’ve got one more.

“I don’t regret anything, I’ve tried to give my best. I’m ending my career here with a good amount of titles.

“I offered to reduce my salary by 50%, but they didn’t ask me for anything else. The news I asked for 30% more is a lie, a lot of things people are saying is not true.”

Asked why he won’t be remaining at Barcelona, Messi added: “As the president said, the club has got a big debt, they can’t do it, it’s not possible [to stay].

“To keep drawing it out would make it more complicated. I need to focus on my career and what I need to do from now on.

“I did everything I could to stay and it was not possible to stay.”

When asked if Paris Saint-Germain – who have reportedly offered him a two-year deal – would be his next club, Messi replied: “It is a possibility.

“I’ve had nothing confirmed with anyone. When the press release was published, I had a lot of calls, a lot of teams interested and we are talking about a lot of things.”

Explaining his feelings when he found out he wouldn’t be playing for Barcelona next season, he continued: “It was like my blood ran cold, I was really sad, it was really difficult right up to now. I’m still trying to process it all.

“When I get home I will still feel bad, it will be even worse.”

 





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