Lionel Messi Left Barcelona In 2021

“It was difficult” – Lionel Messi Admits He Wasn't Ready For Barcelona Exit

Inter Miami superstar Lionel Messi has admitted he was not prepared for his Barcelona exit in the summer of 2021, revealing he had to “rebuild” his life from scratch after joining Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

Lionel Messi Opens Up About Post-Barcelona Struggles

Arguably the greatest player of this generation Messi joined Barcelona’s academy La Masia in July 2000. Rising through the ranks, ‘La Pulga’ officially earned his first-team promotion five years later, in July 2005. Over the next decade and a half, Messi won every single piece of silverware with Barcelona, including 10 La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League trophies, and seven Copas del Rey.

The No. 10 looked destined to retire at Camp Nou, but financial turmoil forced him to prematurely leave his boyhood club. Despite summer-long brainstorming, Barcelona could not find a way to give Messi a contract renewal and remain in compliance with their wage cap. As a result, Messi left Barca as a free agent, bidding goodbye in a tearful press conference.

On the Big Time podcast, the Inter Miami ace revisited his traumatic Barcelona exit, admitting he did not feel at home at PSG. He said (via GOAL):

The change was difficult when I went to PSG, because I was doing very well in Barcelona and I planned to stay there. I was not prepared to leave, everything happened very quickly, I had to rebuild my life from one day to the next. I got to know another league, another club, a new locker room. It was a change that we were not looking for and that is why it was difficult at first.”

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner struggled to put his best foot forward in his debut season at the Parc des Princes. He played in 34 games for the club in all competitions, scoring 11 times and providing 15 assists. Messi markedly improved the following season, recording 21 goals and 20 assists in 41 outings.

Messi Thankful For Everything Barca Have Done For Him

Despite being disappointed with the way things concluded in the Catalonian capital, Messi admittedly has no hard feelings. Looking back on his spell at Camp Nou, the Argentina captain added:

For me it was difficult when I arrived in Barcelona. I was a child and I had to adapt to new friends, new country, new city, new people, new school. It was difficult for me at first, but I thought I was doing what I wanted, playing football, in a great team like Barcelona and that made me able to move forward, it was impressive and I enjoyed it a lot. They have always treated me very well in Barcelona, I am grateful to them.”

Messi played 778 games for Barcelona in all competitions, emerging as their record scorer and assist provider by bagging 672 goals and 303 assists in all competitions. Six of his eight Ballon d’Or awards came during his time in Catalonia.

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