Barcelona president reveals why he blocked Messi’s attempt to leave

Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu has opened up on why he could not allow Lionel Messi leave this summer.

Speaking with TV3 on Saturday, Bartomeu stated that the team needs the best player in the world.

He also made it clear he has no plans to step down, despite a motion to remove him.

The motion gathered more than 20,000 signatures this week.

Messi returned to training, after failing to force a move away from Camp Nou this summer.

When he realised legal action would be needed to trigger a clause in his contract to leave for free, he made a u-turn, although he was critical of Bartomeu in an interview after the episode ended.

“As president, I will not enter into any conflict with Messi,” Bartomeu said.

“I couldn’t allow to let the best player in the world go. The team needs him, he guarantees success.

“We have to congratulate ourselves that Messi is still with us. He is excited about Koeman’s project. The important thing is he plays for Barca, at his home. We want him to retire at the club,” he added.

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