Luis Suarez has confirmed that Lionel Messi actually strongly considered leaving Barcelona in 2016 over the Catalan Independence situation - but he convinced him to remain.
The Argentine superstar is absolutely adored by fans of the club for his incredible footballing ability, but also for his loyalty down the years.
Suárez: "When Messi wanted to leave in 2016, I told him the reality; he would not be happy in any other place, except Barça. He ended up deciding to continue here."— barcacentre (@barcacentre) May 5, 2018
Messi is a one-club man and has been in the first team at the Nou Camp for 14 years now, but Suarez has revealed that the superstar actually did come close to leaving the club a couple of years ago over the political crisis surrounding independence, as reported by the Independent.
The Uruguayan, who has been with club since 2014 after moving from Liverpool, reckons he might well have left if not for his own intervention.
He said: "I don't see Messi as just another player. Our children and our wives are great friends; we're great friends. Messi helped me win Golden Shoes and I am helping him do the same.
"When Messi wanted to leave in 2016, I told him the reality; he would not be happy in any other place, except Barça. He ended up deciding to continue here."
(You may also be interested in Incredible Stats Show the Gulf Between Lionel Messi and Every Other La Liga Player).
Messi did of course stay put and has continued to excel at the very top. Since then, he has won two La Liga titles and three Copas del Rey and scored many goals along the way.