sport news Lionel Messi will STAY at Barcelona despite star's father Jorge's statement on ...

'It was a brutal drama... now I am going to continue in the club': Lionel Messi confirms he will begrudgingly STAY at Barcelona for now with superstar finally giving up on his fight for move to Manchester City in stunning U-turn Lionel Messi confirmed he will remain at Barcelona despite his transfer request The superstar has given up on a stunning move to Manchester City this summer The 33-year-old hinted avoiding a court battle was his main reason for staying  His father Jorge had reiterated that his reported release clause does not exist   The statement also took aim at LaLiga for attempting to block a move to England 

By Pete Jenson for MailOnline

Published: 15:17 BST, 4 September 2020 | Updated: 17:49 BST, 4 September 2020

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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

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

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'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 , 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 last month after growing tired of the club's leadership

Messi told the club he wanted to leave

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