The majority of 26,000-plus fans surveyed in an AS poll have said that they disagree with Lionel Messi's decision to stay at Barcelona.
Lionel Messi’s decision to stay at Barcelona has not gone down well with fans. Of the more than 26,000 participants surveyed in an AS poll who were asked: ‘Do you agree with Messi staying at Barcelona?’, 61.6% have said ‘No’, while 38.4% have stated ‘Yes’.
These results indicate the significant loss of support for the Argentine superstar. The soap opera involving Messi and Barcelona – which began early last week after the player sent a burofax demanding to leave the club – ended on Friday when Messi himself confirmed he would stay at Camp Nou in an interview with Goal.
As Barça insisted the only way Messi could leave was through the payment of his €700million release clause, the club's talisman and captain has accepted he has no choice but to stay – as goes his account in the interview.
Read the full Messi interview here.
Messi: “I would never go to court against Barcelona”
“I thought and was sure that I was free to leave, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I stayed or not. Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for LaLiga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered the whole season,” Messi told Goal.
“And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700million clause, and that this is impossible.
“There was another way and it was to go to trial. I would never go to court against Barça because it is the club that I love, which gave me everything since I arrived, it is the club of my life, I have made my life here. Barça gave me everything and I gave it everything. I know that it never crossed my mind to take Barça to court."
Messi slams Barcelona president Bartomeu
Barcelona have stayed relatively silent following the interview, apart from a post on their twitter page including a photo of Messi accompanied by a quote from the star: “I will give it my all. My love for Barça will never change.”
But the reality is Messi still wants to leave Barcelona, a fact that was very clear from the star's Goal interview, during which he also made severe criticisms of club president, Josep Bartomeu.
"The burofax was to make it official in some way. Throughout the year I had been telling the president that I wanted to leave, that the time had come to seek new goals and new directions in my career. He told me all the time: 'We'll talk, not now,' this and that, but nothing [happened]. The president did not give me a clue at what he was really saying,” said Messi.
“Sending the burofax was making it official that I wanted to go and that I was free and the optional year – I was not going to use it and I wanted to go. It was not to make a mess, or to go against the club, but the way to make it official because my decision had been made."