FC Barcelona

Lionel Messi claims Bartomeu 'cheated' him many times & reveals why he sent burofax

Andrew Headspeath
Lionel Messi has spoken about his relationship with Josep Maria Bartomeu
Lionel Messi has spoken about his relationship with Josep Maria Bartomeu / Eric Alonso/Getty Images
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One of the most intriguing sections of Lionel Messi's extensive interview with La Sexta on Sunday night involved his difficult relationship now former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

The club chief departed in October amid scandal on and off the field, prompting elections to be held in January for Barça's top job.

Bartomeu was famously at loggerheads with Messi for much of the year 2020, with Messi's ultimately failed attempt to force an exit during the summer perhaps the final straw in the president's doomed tenure.

Messi has endured his most difficult year at Barcelona to date
Messi has endured his most difficult year at Barcelona to date / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Asked by interviewer Jordi Evole how Bartomeu cheated him, Messi replied with a laugh: "In many things, the truth is in many things.

"I prefer not to talk about private things that happened, I am not going to bring up what was said and what was promised, but I can assure you that many, many times in several years."

Messi also stated that, despite his love for Barcelona, he did not regret sending the now infamous burofax transfer request, insisting he has no regrets, such was his desperation with Bartomeu.

"It is a way to formalise it and make it official," the Argentine said. "You are saying that you want to go but you do nothing to do it.

"I have been telling him [Bartomeu] all year, not all year but the last six months many times I told the president that I was leaving, that I wanted to leave, to help me, that I wanted to leave and he no, no, no. It was a way of saying I want to go seriously."

In the interview, Messi was also probed about the upcoming elections, which are due to take place on 24 January.

Messi and Bartomeu's difficult relationship has made headlines at Barcelona all year
Messi and Bartomeu's difficult relationship has made headlines at Barcelona all year / MANU FERNANDEZ/Getty Images

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner insisted that while he is a club 'socio', he doesn't know if he will vote.

"I prefer not to position myself with anyone because if they already say that I manage the club, imagine if I say that I want a president," Messi added. "I prefer not to do it and hopefully who it is is best for the club.

It is not going to be easy to change the situation because of the pandemic issue and it will not be easy to turn all this around, but hopefully whoever wins does well things to put the club back, how great it is, in the position where it deserves, which is not there today. " 

During the interview, Messi also discussed his immediate future as the January transfer window approaches and a surprising desire to play in MLS.

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