"I had to put Barcelona ahead of Messi", says Laporta
Barcelona president, Joan Laporta insists letting Lionel Messi leave in 2021 was the best thing for the club.
after 21 years when his contract expired at the end of the 2020-21 season. Messi was ready to reduce his salary but Barcelona who was at €1.35 billion debt in August 2021 should reduce their LaLiga salary cap by €280 million ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Laporta said keeping Messi at that time was impossible due to their financial situation and he does not regret letting him leave.
"I had to put Barca ahead of the best player in the history of football,"
Laporta told Cadena SER.
"In those moments of financial ruin I couldn't keep him. I think it was the best thing for the club.”
Messi joinedParis Saint Germain
on a two-year deal in 2021. His contract is set to expire at the end of the season and he has been linked with a return to Camp Nou. Reports in recent days suggest that the World Cup winner has agreed to extend his contract with PSG but Laporta still hopes that Messi one day return to Barcelona.
"I prefer not to talk about Leo because he is a PSG player, as then [if I spoke about him] there are missiles that come from everywhere,"
"We are focused on the players who are ours.
"Leo will always be part of our emblem, and I would like him to have a different ending to the one he had."
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