Lionel Messi admits he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to STAY at Real Madrid

  • Lionel Messi admits he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to STAY at Real Madrid

Lionel Messi admits he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to STAY at Real Madrid

Lionel Messi has revealed that he nearly left Barcelona in 2014 after he and his father were charged with tax fraud.

Messi said in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC1 on Monday that he felt he wasn't treated well in Spain and didn't want to stay in the country after being accused of not paying his taxes properly.

Barcelona looked to secure the return of the Brazil forward during the off-season after he expressed his desire to leave Paris Saint-Germian.

" I felt that I was being very mistreated and I didn't want to stay here".

Messi, who has been at Barca since he was 13 years of age, was found guilty of defrauding the Spanish government of €4.2 million euros ($4.61 million) between 2007 and 2009 over income earned from image rights.

"The first year when we wanted to sign Griezmann, I said he was one of the best and that the best are always welcome", Messi said.

"It was a very hard time for me and for my family", he said. "A lot of people didn't know exactly what was going on".

Messi was targeted by the tax authorities as part of a wider tax fraud investigation involving high-profile footballers.

"It was not the coach's fault but it was also not my decision for him to stay", Messi said. "I want to thank the fans for the affection they showed me this weekend, but if nothing changed, we will have to sit down and talk about my situation again".

Messi also reiterated his wish to have Neymar back with the club, and that he believed the Brazil forward would have ended up playing for Real Madrid if he didn't join Barcelona.

"I honestly thought at one time, especially in this market, that if he did not come here, he would go to Real Madrid Madrid because I thought he wanted to leave", Messi said.

Barcelona rocked Manchester United with their stunning style of play under Pep Guardiola, however, with goals from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi giving them the trophy.