09:49 GMT24 September 2020
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    In August, Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi had notified FC Barcelona of his intention to transfer elsewhere, prompting rumours about super-spender clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain eyeing moves for the six-time Ballon D’Or winner.

    Messi has confirmed to Goal that he is staying on with FC Barcelona.

    "I'll continue at Barcelona and my attitude won't change, no matter how much I have wanted to go. I told the club and the president that I wanted to go. I've been telling him all year. I thought my time in Barcelona was over, sadly - I always wanted to finish my career here", he said in an interview.

    The famous football player stated that he had decided to stay to avoid a legal dispute with the club, calling the management of Barca led by Josep Maria Bartomeu a "disaster".

    ​Sphera Sports reported earlier today, citing sources, Messi has recorded a message, confirming his intention to stay at Barca, after rumours of his leaving shattered the football world.

    ​Several sports news outlets have reported that the Argentine superstar did not show up for training on 31 August at the Barcelona Football Club facilities and failed to report for coronavirus testing at Barca a day earlier, fueling the allegations of his transfer.

    The 33-year-old notified the Spanish football club of his intention to leave after a crushing 8-2 Champions League defeat at the hands of eventual title-winners Bayern Munich. 

    Soon after Messi's statement, a legal battle over his future started to unfold. His legal team maintains that a clause in his contract enables him to leave on a free transfer at the end of any season. The Spanish football governing body on 30 August said that Messi may only leave if his 700-million-euro ($835 million) release clause is paid to the club.

    Messi has been at Barcelona since 2000 (he joined the Barcelona youth academy at the age of 13) and has won dozens of trophies and even headlined two treble-winning seasons. The club’s last Champions League win, however, came in 2015 and it has since suffered embarrassing exits from the competition annually. It is widely believed that Messi has been increasingly at odds with the way the club is run.

    FC Barcelona, football, Lionel Messi
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