Lionel Messi has confirmed he wanted to leave Barcelona – and even opened the door to a transfer away.
The Barcelona legend joined the club in 2001 and has remained loyal for 18 years, but says there were points in 2013 and 2014 in which his head was turned.
Messi was embroiled in a tax row, which ended with the Argentina international forward having to pay a fine of £223,000.
It was during this time that he wanted to leave Spain.
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.”
On the tax fraud case, he added: “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.”
Fortunately for Barcelona, Messi eventually opted to stay in Spain and is currently playing in his 16th season in La Liga.
On his future, he concluded: “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. “