Messi “hurt” by Joan Laporta after Barca exit and blasts “I didn’t deserve it”

Lionel Messi has said that he was "hurt" by Barcelona president Joan Laporta's comments after his exit from the club and blasted that he "didn't deserve that".

Messi was forced to leave Barca following the expiry of his contract at the end of last season as the club's financial issues prevented them from re-signing him.

La Liga blocked their attempts to complete the signing of a new contract and would not allow Barca to register him as part of their squad for this season.

However, in a recent interview with radio station RAC1, Laporta said he “hoped Messi would do a U-turn” and “play for free”.

The PSG forward has now responded to those comments and revealed Laporta's words left him "hurt".

Speaking to Sport, Messi said: “Nobody at FCB asked me to play for free. I reduced my wages to half and we were ready to help the club even further.

“I was hurt by Laporta’s words. He created a doubt (towards me) that I do not deserve.”

Messi moved to French giants PSG on a free transfer after his Barca exit was confirmed, signing a deal with the Ligue 1 side until the summer of 2023.

Since arriving at the Parc des Princes, Messi has made eight appearances in all competitions and despite not scoring in the league, has three goals in three matches in the Champions League.

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Messi went on to hint at a return to Barcelona in the future as he said: “I miss the life we had in Barcelona, but we are also happy in Paris."

As for retirement, the 34-year-old added: “Retire? After what happened, I will go season by season.”

Having won the Copa America with Argentina in the summer and with 40 goals and 14 assists in 51 appearances in 2021, Messi is amongst the favourites to win this year's Ballon d'Or.

On the prospect of winning the award again, Messi said: “Getting the seventh Ballon d’or would be extraordinarily crazy."

The winner will be announced at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris at the end of November.

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