11 of the biggest revelations from Lionel Messi’s La Sexta interview
Barcelona living legend Lionel Messi gave a major interview this week to journalist Jordi Evole on Spanish channel La Sexta.
The conversation saw him question his future at Camp Nou, his relationship with former president Josep Bartomeu, his take on the club’s immediate future following the January presidential election and even his own sanity. and his well-being.
Here is a look at 11 of the biggest revelations from the interview …
At the time of Messi’s request to leave Barca this summer, it was rumored that the treatment of his close friend Luis Suarez had played a role.
He has denied that this is true, although he still believes the club have handled the situation badly, especially since Suarez has joined Atletico Madrid.
“Luis Suarez’s departure has nothing to do with the decision, but I felt it was crazy the way his exit was handled and that Barcelona let him go to a direct rival.
The idea that Messi sent a fax… In 2020… to express his desire to leave Barcelona raised a few eyebrows. But he explained that he wanted something formal enough to indicate to the club as Bartomeu had repeatedly rejected his verbal requests.
“The last six months, on several occasions, I told the president that I was leaving, that I wanted to leave, to help me, that I wanted to leave and he [said] no no no. It was a way of saying that I want to take it seriously. “
Messi has actually been linked with Real Madrid in the past, with Real president Florentino Perez reportedly making an approach at least once, maybe more. But even if Messi chooses to leave Camp Nou, that option, along with Atletico Madrid, is not even the one he will entertain.
“I’m not going to join Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid. It is absolutely impossible.
Messi explained that the reason he felt it was time to leave Camp Nou at the end of last season was because the club had reached the end of a cycle.
He also said it made him unhappy that his decision to ask to leave was described as a move of disloyalty or questioning his love for the club in general.
“It bothered me… I felt like I had completed a cycle and it was time to leave the club that had given me so much. I wanted to win titles and fight for the Champions League and felt it was time for a change. The president then began to filter this and that to paint a negative image of me.
Messi’s question will be the first thing anyone who wins Barcelona’s presidential election next month will be tasked with resolving. But, so far, no one has spoken directly to him about what their plans might be if they get the job.
Messi himself is not even sure if he will vote in the ballot.
“I don’t know if I will vote in the next presidential elections. Anyone who enters will find the club in a delicate state and will have to work hard to get it back to where it was. So far, none of the candidates have called me.
Although Messi is empowered to formally negotiate a pre-contract deal with other clubs for a free summer transfer from January 1, he has made it clear that he will not engage in such talks and that no decision about his future would. be done until the end of the season.
“I’m not thinking too far in the short term and just want to see how the season ends.
“I will not negotiate with other clubs. I will wait until the end of the season and in June I will decide.
Messi has been asked if he has ever been cheated on by Bartomeu and said it has happened “a lot of times” in recent years.
“In many things, the truth is in many things.
“I prefer not to talk about private things that have happened, I won’t go into what was said and what was promised, but I can assure you that many times in several years.”
Messi has dramatically reduced the possibility of the next generation being coached by one of the greatest of all time, as that is not a path he wants to take after retirement.
He wants to stay in football after hanging up his boots, but not as a coach but rather as a club official or front office manager.
“… Eventually coming back to Barcelona to some extent [after retirement].
“I would like to be involved in football, not as a coach, I don’t see myself as a coach, but maybe as a sports director.
Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have both been closely linked with Messi and are expected to leave Barcelona at the end of this season as he is still performing at a world-class level. Fans of his native Rosario begged him to join Newell’s Old Boys youth club over the summer as well.
But the player himself has named the United States as a country he would like to live and play in before hanging up for good. Does this mean a move to MLS?
“I would like to play in the United States and experience life and the league there.”
Playing in MLS doesn’t have to be immediate and Messi has also fueled the possibility of a spell at Manchester City. This is because he maintains contact with Pep Guardiola and while they have not discussed a transfer, it is surely a good sign for City fans that a regular dialogue is there.
His underlying admiration for his former coach could put City in pole position.
“I don’t know how long my last conversation with Pep Guardiola was, but we are talking. We do not say if we will meet again. For me, Pep is the best, he has something special.
In perhaps the most open aspect of the interview, Messi admitted he should listen to his wife Antonella Rocuzzo urging him to take advice for his mental well-being, although he didn’t. still done.
“I should have gone but I have never been.
“I find it really difficult to take this step even though I know it’s something I need. They repeatedly insisted that this was what I needed. I am someone who keeps everything and does not share things. I know I need it. I know it would be good for me but I didn’t. “