La Liga president Javier Tebas opens up on Lionel Messi’s “painful” Barcelona exit

The Argentine superstar signed a two-year contract at Paris Saint-Germain after the Catalan giants claimed they were unable to renew his deal due to economic restrictions

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  • 17:01, 12 Sep 2021
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La Liga president Javier Tebas has admitted that the exit of Lionel Messi from Barcelona was a ‘painful’ moment for the league.

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The Argentine ended his career-long association with the Catalan giants last month with the club stating that they were unable to renew his contract due to economic restrictions imposed by the league.

The 34-year-old then gave a tearful farewell press conference at the Camp Nou before joining Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year contract.

Messi had made more appearances and scored more goals than any other player in the history of the Blaugrana and is regarded by many as the best football ever.

Lionel Messi gave an emotional farewell press conference to Barcelona in August
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Image:
REUTERS)

His departure from Barca not only hurt the club but also the league of which he was a part

Tebas told an interview with Sport : "Just like when Cristiano Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho left. We knew that one day this would happen.

"We have had the great luck of having the two best footballers in the world in the two best teams in the world and from La Liga we have been able to take advantage of this to put ourselves on the world front line.

"Perhaps Messi's departure has been a bit more painful, because personally I consider him the best in history, and he didn't deserve to leave like that, not only for Barça but for La Liga as well."

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Interestingly, Tebas rejected the club’s assertation that they were unable to renew Messi’s contract due to economic reasons and he believes he will be justified upon the release of the club’s yearly accounts.

The league supremo insists that a deal could have been done that would have seen the Argentine renew his deal in the Catalan capital, and he had discussed this personally with Barca president Joan Laporta.

Tebas added: "I discussed it with [Barcelona president Joan] Laporta personally, by phone, and with his board of directors. Solutions were sought, if the reason was economic. If it has been for another reason, I can no longer value it.

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"I think that next season, with the numbers that Barca release, we will see if Messi could really have stayed or not. And although I respect the decision of the club, you have to tell things as they are.

"It was not an economic decision. I know for sure."

Messi netted 672 goals in 778 first-team appearances throughout his Barca career across 16 seasons at the Camp Nou.

The Argentine won 35 trophies with the club across that spell including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns, although he has not featured in a final of the latter competition since 2015.

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