Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu assures that the club will win a title this season after he prevented Messi from leaving Camp Nou this summer.
Under-fire president Josep Maria Bartomeu refused to step down from his role as a president after 16,500 supporters have signed a motion to have Bartomeu removed from his position.
On November 1, the club members will decide on whether Bartomeu should be removed from his duty.
Bartomeu told Goal: ‘Our priority was keeping Messi as part of our new project so I decided against starting a discussion.
‘I had been accused of forcing his departure in order to balance our books. Well, no, we put the interests of the club first and didn’t want to reinforce a direct rival. We made that decision knowing that we would be criticised for it.’
He added: ‘I understand the positions of everyone, empathising is important. In the case of Leo, it is good to get angry because it is not good to accept defeat and we have all gotten angry.
‘But there was a deadline for him to announce whether or not he was going unilaterally. He didn’t and here it is. We all want him to retire at Barca.’
‘The project is very interesting with young people and veterans, like Messi. And I think that, with him, we are going to win a title this season.’