In 2017, Messi was found guilty of tax evasion.
That is when he was ready to call it quits with Barcelona and Spain.
Lionel Messi has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona. The Argentina star has helped the Blaugrana retain their status as one of the top teams in the world. However, he now admits that he wanted to leave the club back in 2017 due to a tax row.
The Argentinian superstar has admitted that he wanted to leave Barcelona back in 2017 due to a tax row with the Spanish government. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner said that he would’ve even been on his way out of the club had an offer to take him away from Spain arrived.
“At that time, with the mess of the treasury, I wanted to leave, not for wanting to leave Barca but wanting to leave Spain,” Messi admitted to RAC1. “I felt that I was being very mistreated and I didn’t want to stay here. I never had an official offer because everyone knew my idea to stay here.”
The Argentina international states that that particular phase was extremely difficult for him and his family. However, he is thankful that his children were younger at that time.
“It was very difficult for me and my family because people don’t know much about what’s going on. The truth is that it was hard for everything that happened but it is better that my children were small and did not know.”
However, things have changed now and Messi admits that it is his idea to end his career at Barcelona, the club which he has played for all his life.
“Today my idea and that of my family is to end here,” he said. “Especially first because of how I am in the club, how I feel in the club, then because of the familiar, for how good we are in this city, for my children, for not changing my friendships and I don’t want it broken because I had to live it on my personal level.”
Lionel Messi is yet to truly sparkle this season. The Argentine has been sidelined for much of the new campaign due to a recurring injury. However, he is expected to be back fully fit by the end of the latest international break and just in time for season’s first El Clasico.