Lionel Messi has called an end to his war with Barcelona after addressing fans to say he always had the club’s best interests at heart.
Messi rocked the football world this summer when he told Barca he wanted to leave the Nou Camp – and was linked with a shock switch to Manchester City.
He eventually relented, unwilling to go to court over his future after the La Liga giants insisted any potential suitors would have to pay his £624m release clause.
The Argentine superstar has become increasingly outspoken in his criticism of the Catalan club of late – and as recently as Friday he blasted Barca for “throwing out’ his pal Luis Suarez.
But Messi has now offered an olive branch, saying he “takes responsibility” for any mistakes he may have made in his treatment of the club where he has spent his entire career.
Much of Messi’s criticism was sparked by Barca’s relative lack of success in the past couple of seasons, with the Catalans having failed to win major honours since claiming the 2018-19 La Liga title.
But in an interview with Sport, the 33-year-old has predicted brighter times ahead for the Nou Camp side under new boss Ronald Koeman.
“After so many disagreements, I would like to put an end to it,” Messi told the Spanish publication. “All Barça fans must unite and assume that the best is yet to come.”
He added: “I take responsibility for my mistakes, if there were any – they were only to make a better and stronger Barça.
“Adding passion and enthusiasm will be the only way to achieve the objectives – always united and rowing in the same direction.”
And in an address to supporters, the six-times Ballon d’Or winner said: “If fans were bothered by anything I said or did, I did it thinking about the best for the club.”
Messi has a year remaining on his contract with Barcelona, and it remains to be seen whether he will stay with the club or seek pastures new next summer.
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Last week, in an emotional message on Instagram, he criticised the way Barcelona handled Suarez’s departure to Atletico Madrid after it was made clear the striker was surplus to requirements in Catalonia.
He hailed Suarez as “someone who achieved great things for the team and on an individual level”, adding: “You did not deserve for them to throw you out like they did.
“But the truth is that at this stage nothing surprises me anymore.”
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