Lionel Messi has confirmed on Instagram that he and the rest of his Barcelona team-mates have accepted the club’s proposal to take a 70 per cent pay cut, owing to COVID-19 and concerns for club staff having their salaries cut entirely. The Argentine captain made it clear that this was always the players’ intention, despite recent reports suggesting the contrary.

Our desire has always been to take a pay cut, because we understand perfectly that this is an exceptional situation. That’s why it has surprised us that within the club people have tried to put us under scrutiny and put pressure on us to do something we were always going to do. If the agreement has been delayed a few days, it’s because we were looking for a formula to help the club and also its workers at this difficult time. We didn’t speak until now because our priority was to find real solutions to help the club, but also those most affected.