Lionel Messi has hit out at Josep Maria Bartomeu, accusing the Barcelona president of breaking a promise to allow him to leave the club.
The 33-year-old is set to remain with the Blaugrana for one more season after the club insisted that prospective buyers would need to pay his 700-million Euro release clause.
Messi says he had made his desire to leave clear all season after becoming frustrated with how things were being run behind the scenes at Camp Nou.
"I told the club, including the president, that I wanted to go. I've been telling him that all year. I believed it was time to step aside,” the six-time world player of the year told Goal.
“I told the president and, well, the president always said that at the end of the season I could decide if I wanted to go or if I wanted to stay and in the end he did not keep his word.
“I believed that the club needed more young players, new players and I thought my time in Barcelona was over. I felt very sorry because I always said that I wanted to finish my career here.
“It was a very difficult year, I suffered a lot in training, in games and in the dressing room. Everything became very difficult for me and there came a time when I considered looking for new ambitions."