Lionel Messi has said that his dedication to Barcelona will not change moving forward, despite his attempt to force an exit from the club this summer.
After looking to activate a clause that would allow him to opt out of his contract, Messi has now reversed course and committed his future to Barcelona.
Though Messi didn’t deny trying to leave a club he joined 20 years ago, he insisted that his attitude and commitment to the cause wouldn’t change now that he is staying put.
“I will continue at Barca and my attitude will not change no matter how much I have wanted to go,” Messi told Goal. “I will do my best.”.
“I always want to win, I’m competitive and I don’t like to lose anything. I always want the best for the club, for the dressing room and for myself.”
Barcelona’s Champions League drought has now reached five seasons, with Ronald Koeman brought in to try and win Europe’s biggest club prize.
“I said it at the time that we were not given the support to win the Champions League,” the Argentine added. “Actually, now I don’t know what will happen. There is a new coach and new ideas.
“That’s good, but then we have to see how the team responds and whether or not it will give us to compete at the top level. What I can say is that I’m staying and I’m going to give my best for Barcelona.”
Messi has admitted that he was hurt by those questioning his commitment to a club he has called home for 20 years, though he was strengthened by the support of those closest to him.
“I didn’t feel alone,” the six-time Ballon d’Or winner said. “Not alone. There are those who have always been by my side. That is enough for me and strengthens me.
“But I did feel hurt by things that I heard from people, from journalists, from people questioning my commitment to Barcelona and saying things that I think I didn’t deserve. It also helped me to see the truth in people.
“This world of football is very difficult and there are many fake people. This happening has helped me to recognise many fake people. It hurt me when my love for this club was questioned.
“No matter how much I go or stay, my love for Barca will never change.”