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The six-time Ballon d’Or winner had an emotional press conference at Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon where he confirmed his exit.
Four-time African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto’o has urged Lionel Messi not to cry about his departure from Barcelona after he “gave his all” for the club.
The Argentina forward’s contract at Camp Nou expired at the end of June and Barcelona made efforts to renew his deal last week, but they were restricted by La Liga’s financial regulations.
Three days after the Blaugrana announced that he will not be returning to the club, a tearful Messi held a press conference at the club premises on Sunday as he confirmed his exit after 21 years in Catalonia.
“Don’t cry son, you gave it all but life is something we cannot explain. We love you,” Eto’o captioned the video of Messi’s final farewell on Instagram.
Messi stands as Barcelona’s all-time top appearance maker and top scorer with 672 goals in 778 matches across all competitions since he made his debut appearance at the age of 17 in 2004.
He played with Eto’o for five years before the African legend left Camp Nou for another challenge at Inter Milan in 2009.
The duo won three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, two Spanish Super Cups and two Uefa Champions League trophies together at Barcelona between 2004 and 2009.
Eto’o, however, is unsure about Messi’s next destination but he admits that it would be painful to see the six-time Ballon d’Or winner wear another club’s shirt after over two decades in Catalonia.
“What a pain to imagine [you] with another t-shirt. I want you, son,” he wrote in another post.
During Sunday’s session with reporters, Messi disclosed that a move to the French capital remains a possibility for him.
“Paris Saint-Germain is a possibility, yes,” he said.
“At the moment nothing is confirmed, I received a lot of calls after the Barcelona statement. We’re talking about it.
“A lot of things have been said about me, but on my behalf we did everything I could because I wanted to stay. Last year I didn’t want to stay and I said it. This year I did and I couldn’t.”