Messi Says Push to Leave Barca Was 'With Club's Best Interests in Mind'

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi said that he acted with his team's best interests in mind this summer as he tried to leave the Spanish club. 

Speaking in his first interview since he announced he was remaining with the club, Messi took responsibility for any mistakes he might have made this summer. 

"I take responsibility for my errors and if they existed, it was only to make FC Barcelona better and stronger," he told Diario Sport.

"After so many disagreements, I would like to bring an end to everything. We all have to be united and assume that the best is yet to come."

In early September, Messi announced his decision to stay with the club despite expressing his desire to leave Barcelona by way of a now infamous burofax.

Messi's contract with Barcelona included a 700 million (approximately $835 million) release clause that proved prohibitive.

Messi's frustrations with the club boiled over following an 8–2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals. Manchester City was rumored to be a potential landing spot, with a reunion with manager Pep Guardiola a likely draw. 

Messi returned to training with Barcelona in early September, saying he wasn't happy with the club, but would rather stay than get into a legal battle with the “club of his life.”

He will remain with the club at least until the end of his contract in June 2021. 

 "I wanted to send a message to all the socios and fans that follow us. If at any moment, any of them were annoyed by something that I said or did, let there be no doubts that anything I did was always with the club's best interests in mind," Messi told Diario Sport.