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Bartomeu: Barcelona allowing Messi to leave a bad decision, a mistake

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revisited Lionel Messi's attempt to leave last year.

Messi left Barca this past summer for PSG, though made an attempt the previous year when making a transfer request via burofax.

Bartomeu said, "It is said by someone who fought for him to stay in the summer of 2020; I have always thought that he was essential. Letting Messi go was a bad decision, a mistake.

"It is essential that he be with us for his sporting and institutional contribution. I have always thought of it that way. He represents much more than a footballer who falls in love.

"Why was he not happy? You have to ask Leo. That there was no project? In 2019 we won LaLiga and it was a treble year, we lost a game in which there was not even a chance for Liverpool.

"I told him that if he wanted to go like Xavi and Iniesta, to Qatar, China or the US, something we understood, we can talk about it and we will do a tribute and a farewell. But Messi did not have a team and he wanted to leave for free.

"We said, 'We want the club to be your last club in Europe. If you then want to go to another continent, no problem. But we want to continue' and that was a little story of the summer of 2020."


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