Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona


Lionel Messi says he will remain at Barcelona next season after performing a shock U-turn on his future.


Messi's father and agent Jorge wrote to La Liga on Friday insisting the player is contractually allowed to leave Barcelona for free in the current transfer window. La Liga responded with a statement shortly after Messi's declaration, reiterating its stance that the €700m release clause needs to be paid in full if the 33-year-old is to be allowed to leave the club.


Messi says he never considered taking the matter to trial in order to force an exit from the club where he has spent the entirety of his professional career.


"There was another way and it was to go to trial," he added. "I would never go to court against Barca because it is the club that I love, which gave me everything since I arrived.


"It is the club of my life, I have made my life here. Barca gave me everything and I gave it everything. I know that it never crossed my mind to take Barca to court."

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