An emotional Lionel Messi has finally broken his silence after parting ways with FC Barcelona following a 22-year spell at the club.
The Catalan outfit surprised many on Thursday evening when they announced that Messi will not be re-signing with the club ahead of the new season.
There was a deal on the table to sign but due to financial and structural obstacles, the LaLiga outfit are unable to afford the player's services.
The six-time Ballon d'Or gave a speech at the Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon to adress the issue.
"The truth is I don't want to say it, these recent days I've been thinking about what I could say, and the truth is that I can't think of anything," he said on Sunday, as per the Mirror.
"This is really difficult for me after so many years, being here my entire life. I'm not ready for this.
"And honestly, last year, with all the nonsense with the burofax, I was convinced I knew what I wanted to say. This year, I don't."
"This year we thought we would stay at Barcelona. Today I have to say goodbye to all of this. I’ve been here my entire life - I’ve been here since I was 13.
"After 13 years I am leaving with my wife, with my three Catalan kids. This is our home, and one day we will be back, I have promised my children that.”
“The truth is we’re leaving. I never imagined having to say goodbye because I never thought of it. And I never thought of it this way.
“It’s been difficult to play in the pandemic without the people near by, without the fans cheering my name, without the fans for over a year and a half.
“If I’d imagined leaving, I’d imagine it with the Camp Nou full of people and saying goodbye properly. But it was not to be."
The Argentine has notched up a superb 778 goals and 305 assists in 672 appearanes for the Catalan giants since making his debut in 2004.
Where did Messi rank among the best-paid players in 2021?