Barcelona's Leo Messi Testifies In Fraud Case
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It was impossible to envision it coming to this, but here we were with Lionel Messi wanting out of Barcelona and the club wanting him to stay and honor his contract, which expires next summer. The feud had only escalated over time with many ups and downs both on the pitch and with the front office, amplified by the shocking 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals in August. 

On one side, Messi and his father Jorge Messi, who is also his agent, claimed he had a clause in his contract to rescind it and leave Barcelona after the season. Barca said that it expired in June, and that it wasn't extended just because the season was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The unwillingness to negotiate from Barca, while knowing nobody would meet his 700 million euro release clause, meant there was just one way Messi could maybe force a move -- take his team to court. That wasn't happening. 

"Now they cling to the fact that I did not say it before June 10, when it turns out that on June 10 we were competing for La Liga in the middle of this awful coronavirus and this disease altered the entire season," Messi told

"And this is the reason why I am going to continue in the club. Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the €700 million clause, and that this is impossible.

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

Not wanting to deal with a trial that would be the focal point of the European soccer season until it's conclusion, Messi updated to stay, and it makes sense. He's had to deal with courts in the past when it comes to tax fraud, and he certainly didn't want to experience the stress of going through another trial. 

"It is the club of my life. I have made my life here," Messi said. 

"Barca gave me everything and I gave it everything. I know that it never crossed my mind to take Barca to court."

In the end, he mans up, intends to honor the contract and Barca continue to have their superstar. Whether they can repair the relationship before June remains to be seen.