Lionel Messi: “Never at any time was I asked to play for free.”

In an exclusive interview with Catalan daily Sport, Lionel Messi discussed club president Joan Laporta’s comments about playing for Barcelona for free.

Laporta recently admitted that he bears no anger towards the Argentine, however, he had hoped that he would stay on and “play for free” at Camp Nou.

“The truth is that, as I explained on my way out, I did everything possible to stay. Never at any time was I asked to play for free,” Messi said.

“I was asked to cut my salary by 50 percent and I did it without any problem. We were in a position to help the club more.

“Nobody asked me to play for free, but at the same time, it seems to me that the words said by the president are out of place.

“They hurt me because I think he doesn’t need to say it, it’s like getting the ball off you and not assuming its consequences, or taking charge of things.

“This makes people think or generates a type of doubt that I don’t think I deserve.”

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