We wanted Messi to play for Barcelona for free – Joan Laporta

The president of Barcelona football club, Joan Laporta, has revealed that the La Liga side wanted its former captain will play for the club for free.

The Argentina captain joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent, after his former club could not meet his demands.

Barcelona and Messi had earlier agreed to fresh terms, but financial mismanagement at the club and La Liga salary caps hindered them from signing the paperworks.

Laporta while speaking on Messi’s exit with RAC1 said, “With Messi, I do not get angry because I appreciate him. I know he had a huge desire to stay, but also a lot of pressure because of the offer he had.

“Everything indicates that he already had the offer from PSG. Everyone knew that he had a very powerful offer. We knew from Messi that they had a very good offer.

“At no time do I think of going backward. I think I’m doing the best for Barca. Nobody can put the institution at risk.

“I did hope that at the last minute Messi would say that he would play for free. I would have liked that and he would have convinced me. I understand that the league would have accepted it. But we cannot ask that of a player of his level.”

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