• ‘I cried alongside him’

Lionel Messi, the 34-year-old Argentine striker who spent 21 years of his career at Barcelona, had to leave the Spanish football club due to economic and structural obstacles and joined Paris Saint-German.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ripped into FC Barcelona for failing to re-sign Argentine football legend Lionel Messi due to financial constraints, thus paving the way for the footballer to sign a contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

Maduro said the Barcelona management did an “ugly” thing to the footballer, having used him to make as much money as possible, and then just discarding him as unnecessary.

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“What they did to Messi was ugly,” Maduro said. “I cried alongside him. When I saw him crying, I cried because he’s an authentic guy, a triumph of the sporting world. And what they did, the directors of the club Barcelona to the biggest triumph that the Barcelona club has had, there’s no name for it. They gave Messi a kick.”
Messi burst into tears as he bid farewell to his “childhood” football club, Barcelona, at a press conference on 8 August. The football ace said he wanted to stay at the club, where he spent 21 years, but the rules set by the top Spanish football division La Liga would not allow him to renew his contract with Barcelona.

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The club announced last week that they would not be able to re-sign Messi due to financial and structural obstacles, with Barcelona President Joan Laporta confirming at the time that the player was engaged in talks with France’s PSG.

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On 10 August, Lionel Messi signed a two-year contract with PSG. The agreement includes the option to renew for one more season. In the new club, Messi was offered less favourable conditions – 50 million euros per year against 78 million euros per year at Barcelona.


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