Lionel Messi is giving his first press conference since his shock exit from Barcelona was announced earlier this week. No details about what he will say have yet been revealed — either by him or the football club. Watch him speak live on the situation below.
The 34-year-old Argentine will end his career-long alliance with the Spanish team, having come through the ranks at the esteemed La Masia youth academy. Now, he's strongly tipped to transfer to Paris Saint Germain.
In the ongoing press conference, Messi explains that he offered to reduce his salary in July 2021, taking a five-year pay cut that would slice his earnings down from about €45 million (approximately $53 million) to about €20 million (approximately $23.6 million).
Messi also asserted that the rumors that he asked for a 30% raise were a lie.
Despite more than a minor amount of behind-the-scenes turbulence, reports indicated that Messi had every intention to remain at the club that he'd played for since his career began nearly two decades ago in 2004. The problems stemmed from Barcelona's mismanagement of funds.
Even at a halved rate, the club was incapable of affording his salary. Barca is estimated to pay 110% of its income to player salaries alone, its many millions of euros in debt notwithstanding.
To retain Messi on its squad, Barcelona management needed to reassess its cashflow and perhaps restructure its team by the time that Messi's contract was due to expire.
Even as the news about Messi continues to unfold, his former team has kept on trucking, handily winning August 8's Joan Gamper Cup against Juventus.