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Lionel Messi

I Was Close To Leaving Barcelona – Messi

Lionel Messi has revealed he wanted to leave Barcelona – and even opened the door to a transfer away.

Messi who joined the club in 2001 says there were points in 2013 and 2014 in which his head was turned on leaving after he was embroiled in a tax row.

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The reigning FIFA Best Player ended up paying a fine of £223,000.

In an interview with RAC1, Messi said: “There were moments in which I was tired for so many reasons.

“There were times, in 2013 and 2014 when I had the problem with the Hacienda [Spanish tax authorities].

“In that time I had in my head to leave, not because I wanted to leave Barca, but because I wanted to leave Spain.

“I felt badly treated and didn’t want to be here any more, I had the door open to many clubs.”

Commenting on the tax fraud case, Messi said: “It was very difficult for me and my family because people don’t know much about what’s going on.

“The truth is that it was hard for everything that happened but it is better that my children were small and did not know.”

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And on his future, he added: “Today my idea and that of my family is to end here.

“Especially first because of how I am in the club, how I feel in the club, then because of the familiar, for how good we are in this city, for my children, for not changing my friendships and I don’t want it broken because I had to live it on my personal level.”

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