October 10 -Lionel Messi has revealed wanted to leave Spain in the midst of his case for tax fraud because of the way he was being treated but stayed when no offers emerged.
In a rare interview, the Barcelona and Argentine superstar opened up on how badly he was affected by the case.
Messi and his father were both found guilty in July 2016 and were handed suspended 21-month prison sentences while the player was also ordered to pay a €1.7million fine.
“There was a time that one ends up tired and exhausted by a series of circumstances. I had several times, especially the 2013-2014 era, before the problem with the Treasury and everything,” Messi told Spanish radio station RAC1.
“It was very difficult for me and my family because people don’t know much about what’s going on. At that time, with the mess of the Treasury, I had the mind to leave, not for wanting to leave Barca but for wanting to leave Spain.
“I felt that I was being very mistreated and I didn’t want to stay here. I never had an official offer because everyone knew my idea to stay here.”
But now, says Messi, he will probably end his career in Catalonia.
“Today my idea and that of my family is to end here. Especially first because of how I am in the club, how I feel in the club. Then because of the family, for how good we are in this city, for my children, for not changing my friendships and I don’t want it broken because I had to live it on my personal level.
The five-time world footballer of the year also disclosed how uncomfortable he feels about being treated like a god by Barca fans.
“It is very exaggerated to be told I am God, I do not like it. Especially for my children.”
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