Bartomeu is glad to keep Messi: "I couldn't let go of the best player"
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FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu is pleased to have Lionel Messi on the team. In an interview with Catalan television, he emphasized that he did not want to go into conflict with the Argentine striker.
In the summer, information spread about Messi's desire to leave Barcelona after twenty years, referring to a clause in the contract that allowed him to leave free of charge after the past season. Due to the pandemic, however, the year stretched and it took advantage of the leadership of "blaugranas". Messi was not released and claimed that he should have exercised the option as early as June. Thirty-three-year-old Messi finally retreated and stayed. "I couldn't allow the best player in the world to leave, no one would do that. Now the main thing is that he stayed and is excited about the new coach Ronald Koeman," Bartomeua was quoted as saying by APF.
Messi's contract will expire next year and he will have the opportunity to change his jersey, for the first time in his professional career. For now, however, the conflict between the player and the club seems to be over. "As president, I will never go into conflict with Messi. He is our captain and leader. I saw him recently on the field and everything is fine," said the head of Barcelona.
Although he managed to keep Messi, he probably did not convince the fans or members of the club when more than 20,000 members signed the petition for his resignation. If at least 16,520 signatures are verified, Bartomeu is awaiting a vote of confidence: "No one is going to resign at the moment. The club is advancing, the council is surprised by the number of signatures, but we will respect the democratic rules of the club. "