FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi admitted on Wednesday that he had thought of leaving Spain when he was in trouble with the Spanish tax authorities.
"There are times when we end up leaching, because of the circumstances, business, I had ups and downs, especially from 2013, 2014 ... when I started to have problems with the tax, "said Messi in an interview with Catalan radio RAC1.
"I had in mind to leave (Spain), not because I wanted to leave Barça, but to leave the country, I felt very badly and I felt that I did not want to be here anymore", entrusted the Argentine.
"I was the first (to be targeted by the tax administration, ed) and that's why everything was so hard," he said. "After fighting me, they showed they were attacking all the sportsmen, the footballers".
Messi had been convicted in 2016 for tax evasion with a 2.1 million euro fine and a 21-month prison sentence commuted to an additional fine of 252,000 euros.
In January 2019, his rival, Ronaldo, was also sentenced for tax evasion to a two-year prison sentence, also commuted to a fine, and fined more than three million.
"Many places opened their doors even though I did not receive a formal offer because everyone knew that my idea was to continue in Barcelona, but it went beyond what I felt for this house. this club was for personal reasons, "continued Messi.
Now, the Argentinean repeats that he intends to finish his career in Barcelona.
"Obviously, if they want me, I'm delighted, my idea is to always stay here, it has always been and it has not changed at all," said Captain Blaugrana.
"My idea, and that of my family, is to finish here," he insisted, noting that his family felt very good in Barcelona.
However, he admitted that he had always had the dream, at the end of his career, of "being able to play Newell's (Old Boys, Argentine football club based in Rosario, Ed) to experience the game of playing in Argentine football, because everything that surrounds Argentine football is very different, with its good and bad aspects. "
"But sometimes you have to think first about the family rather than what you want," he added.
© 2019 AFP