Messi was never for sale, says Barcelona VP

Lionel Messi (Photo:

Lionel Messi was clear about his intention to leave Barcelona, but turns out the club had no intention of letting him go, even if they had found a team that could afford to buy out his contract.

Barca’s vice-president of economic affairs, Jordi Moix, said the Argentine player means too much to their fans and is a part of their long-term plans for him to have been sold.

“We never considered what the impact on the economy of the club would be if he left,” Moix told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “(Messi) is a player who has been with the club for 20 years and is a central driver of the club, and we have to consider that with our sponsors.”

Messi had signalled his intent to move on after a huge degeat to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League in August.

However, his US$828 million buyout clause prevented his departure after the club argued he missed the deadline to invoke a departure clause at the end of the season.