Lionel Messi is not happy by the way his exit from Barcelona has been discussed with the press by no less than club president Joan Laporta. In particular, Messi is not impressed by the statement saying that he could have stayed and played for the Catalan giants for free.

Laporta had spoken to the press extensively both before and after Messi's departure from the club. Initially, he had insisted that the player would stay, before finally admitting that the club could not afford him. Weeks after Messi made the move to Paris Saint-Germain, Laporta said that it would have been possible for Messi to stay with his boyhood club had he offered to play for free.

Messi felt that the statement showed him in a bad light, implying that he did not sacrifice what he could for the club. "I did all I could to stay," said the Argentine, as quoted by Marca. He then went on to clarify that playing for free was never brought up.

"At no point was I asked to play for free. I was asked to reduce my salary 50 percent and I agreed to that without any problems. We were willing to help the club," he added, making it clear that he had cooperated fully with Barcelona while they were negotiating a new contract over the summer.

He then repeated that he and his family had all wanted to stay in Barcelona. "Nobody asked me to play for free, but, at the same time, I think what the president said was inappropriate. That hurt me because I don't think he needed to say that."

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner said that Laporta's statement exposed him to unnecessary criticism. "That creates speculation or makes people think things that I don't think I deserve."

Messi was later told that even with a 50% reduction in his salary, the club could not afford him owing to their financial crisis. He was then left with no choice but to find another option and secure his family's future.

Despite his feelings about Laporta's statements, Messi also revealed that he is open to the idea of returning to Barcelona post-retirement. He thinks that he can make a contribution as a technical secretary or another similar role.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has now scored three Champions League goals since arriving at Paris Saint-Germain FRANCK FIFE/AFP