BARCELONA – Barcelona fans gathered in front of Lionel Messi’s home on Monday eager to catch a glimpse of the club’s best player and spoke of their sadness at the Argentine’s departure after 21 years.
Messi tearfully said goodbye to the club where he has spent his entire career on Sunday and said he was talking to French club Paris St Germain about a possible move.
“I feel devastated,” said Cristian García, dressed in a Barça shirt with Messi’s name and the number 10 on the back.
“Seeing a player that I have always followed, who is an example for me, seeing him leave now brings me a lot of pain.”
Messi said he had agreed to a 50% pay cut to stay at Barca and sign a new contract, but was unable to finalize the deal due to the Spanish league’s financial control rules and the club’s huge debts.
“I don’t think the club has done enough for him to stay, I think it was in the club’s hands to make him stay, beyond the money,” said Barça and Argentina fan Gonzalo Moreno.
Messi said on Sunday that PSG was “a possibility” but that he had not yet signed an agreement. However, the French media have reported that it is on the verge of doing so.
There was no sign of movement at his home in the hills of the wealthy Castelldefels district, where he has made home with his wife and three children, although the player was expected to fly to Paris within a day or two.
Young Jonas Romero said he was “waiting to see if we can see Messi before he goes to PSG,” adding that he wanted the player to sign his shirt and take a picture with him.
Another fan, Saúl Moreno, added: “I don’t want Messi to go to PSG, but I know he is going to go.”
Get the latest sports news straight to your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS To get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer and more than 70 other titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download from 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For comments, complaints or inquiries, Contact Us.