An emotional Lionel Messi has revealed he expected to extend his stay at Barcelona.
It was announced on Thursday the six-time Ballon d’Or winner would not sign a new contract with his boyhood club, with president Joan Laporta saying a day later that the former regime at Barca in addition to LaLiga spending rules had thwarted any hopes of the Argentinian staying in Catalonia.
Speaking at his farewell press conference on Sunday morning, a tearful Messi got a standing ovation after speaking.
He said: “This year, my family and I were convinced we were going to stay at home, that’s what we all wanted more than anything.
The 34-year-old, who has been heavily linked with a move to Paris St Germain, had been set to remain at the Nou Camp but is now a free agent.
He added: “I did everything possible and the club, Laporta, they couldn’t do it because of LaLiga.
PSG appears the most likely next destination for Messi and while he confirmed that joining the French giants was a possibility, he insisted nothing was yet agreed.
He said: “That’s honestly one possibility, to reach those heights, but I’ve got nothing confirmed with anybody.
Messi confirmed he had agreed to take a 50 per cent wage cut during negotiations over a new deal.
He said: “I offered to reduce my salary by 50 per cent and they didn’t ask me for anything else.