Joan Laporta hoped Lionel Messi would play for Barcelona for free
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Joan Laporta hoped Lionel Messi would play for Barcelona for free

After failing to give Lionel Messi a new contract, Barcelona president Joan Laporta confessed he was hoped he would volunteer to play for the club for free.

Due to Barça's financial difficulties, Messi was unable to sign a new contract this summer, and he ended up joining Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona were aware of PSG's interest and the enormous contract offer they had prepared for Messi, according to Laporta, and he doesn't hold it against him for leaving.

"I love him too much to be angry," Laporta told RAC1.

"But there comes a time when you see that things just cannot happen, and there was disappointment on both sides.

"There was a desire for him to stay, but pressure because of the offer he had. He knew that he'd go to PSG if he didn't stay.

"He'll go down as the best player in the history of Barcelona and I want that to be preserved. Everything indicates that he had the PSG offer before leaving Barcelona. We knew he had a big offer.

"When it came to making the decision, I thought I was doing the best thing for Barcelona. I hoped there would be a change and that he'd say he'd play for free, but we cannot expect a player of his level to do that.

"We have a very good relationship. I knew that if we recovered financially we would compensate him, but we couldn't make demands knowing the offer he had in Paris."

Barcelona has had a poor start to the season. They are currently in ninth place in La Liga and have lost both of their Champions League games by a score of 3-0.

Messi, on the other hand, has only scored once since joining PSG. Les Parisiens defeated Manchester City 2-0 thanks to his long-range shot.

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