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Messi addressed his Barca departure at a press conference on Sunday.
He broke down in tears when explaining the situation that sees him leave the La Liga side following 21 glorious years.
His family, former teammates and media inside the room gave him a standing ovation in a fitting tribute.
The 34-year-old was also mobbed by fans when he left the ground, and a picture of him looking back at his home for the past two decades shows how much the club meant to him.
Messi looked back at Nou Camp for the last time. Its heartbreaking pic.twitter.com/orlQWS77WM
- Lionel Messi (@Messiology_10) August 9, 2021
:movie_camera: Messi leaving the Camp Nou. #FCB pic.twitter.com/SMCHZjJHBH
- Reshad Rahman (@ReshadRahman_) August 8, 2021
Speaking at his press conference, Messi was convinced he was going to remain a Barca player.
But the club's dire financial situation has not allowed him to continue.
An emotional Messi said: "My family and I were convinced we were going to stay here, at home.
"This is the end with this club and now a new story will begin. Yes, it's one of the most difficult moments for me.
"I don't want to leave this club - it's a club I love and this is a moment I didn't expect."
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner added: "Last year I wanted to leave, this year I wanted to stay. That's why I'm so sad.
"It was like my blood ran cold. I was really sad. It was really difficult right up to now. I'm still trying to process it all.
"When I get home I will still feel bad; it will be even worse. I'm not ready for this."
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