By Pete Jenson for MailOnline
Published: 15:17 BST, 4 September 2020 | Updated: 17:49 BST, 4 September 2020
Lionel Messi has confirmed he will stay at Barcelona against his wishes and hinted his desire to avoid a courtroom battle was the overriding reason behind the decision.
The superstar's bombshell U-turn was officially announced on Friday evening, although Messi has once again doubled down on his criticism of the board and its under-fire president Josep Bartomeu.
The 33-year-old club captain announced he is finally abandoning attempts at a sensational move to Manchester City this summer in a recorded interview despite having initially demanded to leave.
Lionel Messi has confirmed he will remain at Barcelona due to his desire to avoid a legal battle
The superstar's bombshell U-turn was officially announced in an interview on Friday evening
Messi's desire to avoid a courtroom battle with the club is the main reason behind his decision
Messi told Goal in an explosive admission: 'When I communicated my wish to leave to my wife and children, it was a brutal drama.
'The whole family began crying, my children did not want to leave Barcelona, nor did they want to change schools.
'But I looked further afield and I want to compete at the highest level, win titles, compete in the Champions League. You can win or lose in it, because it is very difficult, but you have to compete.
'At least compete for it and let us not fall apart in Rome, Liverpool, Lisbon. All that led me to think about that decision that I wanted to carry out.'
Messi told the club he wanted to leave