Lionel Messi’s decision to leave Barcelona devastated his wife and kids, the soccer legend revealed: ‘The whole family began crying’


Lionel Messi is not leaving FC Barcelona this season after all.

Messi shocked the world a few weeks ago when he announced his intention to leave the club — his contract has a release clause designed to allow him to exit for free. But the six-time Ballon d’Or winner told on Friday that the clause expired on June 10. Normally, the season would be over by then, but Barcelona was still competing at that time due to delays in the season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But that wasn’t the only difficult part of the decision process, Messi told Notifying his family of his choice to leave prompted “a brutal drama” at home, he added.

Messi described the heartbreaking moment he told his wife and kids that he’d be parting ways with the club he’s played for his entire professional career.

“The whole family began crying,” Messi said. “My children did not want to leave Barcelona, nor did they want to change schools.”

Lionel Messi

Messi added that his 4-year-old son, Mateo, “doesn’t realise what it means to go somewhere else” because he’s “still little,” but said the conversation with his 7-year-old son, Thiago, was more difficult.

“Thiago, he is older,” Messi said. “He heard something on TV and found out something and asked. I didn’t want him to know anything about being forced to leave, to have to live in a new school, or make new friends,” Messi said, adding, “he cried to me and said ‘let’s not go.'”

Messi started his illustrious football career with Barcelona, and has won four UEFA Champions League titles, six Copas del Rey, and 10 La Liga titles over a 16-year span, making him the world’s most decorated soccer star.

So Barcelona is the only home Messi’s three sons have ever known. And even though his wife, Antonela, is a fellow Argentina native, she too was devastated by the prospect of picking up and leaving, Messi said.

Lionel Messi

“My son, my family, they grew up here and are from here,” Messi said. “My wife, with all the pain of her soul, supported and accompanied me.”

The contract dispute, then, offers a silver lining for Messi’s family, since he has little choice but to remain with the club for another season. But Messi still defended his right to make the choice.

“There was nothing wrong with wanting to leave,” he told “I needed it, the club needed it, and it was good for everyone.”