The Argentine icon ended his 21-year stay at Camp Nou after failed contract negotiations.
New details have emerged of Lionel Messi’s contract saga at Barcelona in 2020.
The Argentine superstar came close to securing a new deal at Barcelona several times. However, failed negotiations with the club’s hierarchy ultimately paved the way for his shock move to Paris Saint-Germain.
According to El Mundo, Messi requested to extend his contract for another three years at Barcelona. But the club failed to fulfil two of his nine demands to sign a new deal.
In addition to a substantial pay rise, Messi demanded the club must pay any additional taxes imposed by the Spanish government.
The Argentine icon also wanted the club to keep on employing his personal assistant, Pepe Costa, whose dismissal was among the club’s planned cuts for the post-pandemic era.
Messi also asked the club for a private plane during the Christmas holidays as well as special private boxes for his and Luis Suarez’s families at Camp Nou.
The Argentine international took a wage cut alongside his Barcelona teammates after the pandemic. To sign a new contract, Messi reportedly demanded his full wages plus three per cent interest.
Barcelona ultimately agreed to all of the above demands as well as paying Messi’s brother, Rodrigo, a special commission for negotiations with Ansu Fati.
However, the club were not able to finalize the contract due to rejecting two remaining requests.
Messi demanded a €10m renewal bonus, which was ruled out by the club due to lack of funds. He also wanted the club to reduce his release clause from €700m to €10,000, which Barca also saw as unacceptable.
Messi reportedly pushed for a move away from Barcelona after the unsuccessful talks. However, he wasn’t able to leave the club until a year later, when he eventually joined PSG.