The 34-year-old joined Paris St Germain after the Catalan club told him they couldn’t afford to stay with him.
Lionel Messi has admitted that he still feels a bit lost in France, but also insists that he was not wrong by signing for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in an impressive summer transfer.
The 34-year-old added that having to leave Barcelona was a shock, but familiar faces helped him settle at PSG.
Messi, who started his professional career with Barça and is their record scorer with 672 goals, joined PSG on a two-year contract in the summer transfer window after the Catalan club told him they could. not to pay to retain it.
“I returned to Barcelona [from the Copa America in July] to prepare for the season, after taking advantage of the extra vacation days that the coach [Ronald Koeman] he had given me, ”Messi told France Football in an interview published on Saturday.
“I had in mind to sign my contract and start training immediately. I thought that everything was fixed and that only my signature was missing [on the contract].
“But when I arrived in Barcelona they told me that it was no longer possible, that I couldn’t stay and that I had to find another club because Barça couldn’t afford to extend my contract. That changed my plans.
“It was very difficult to accept. To think that we would have to leave home and that the family would have to change their routine, ”added the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
On Friday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta said he hoped Messi would have stayed and “play for free.”
The president said that this was something that they could not have asked a player of his “stature”, but that he “would have liked”.
Last year, after telling the club that he wanted to leave, Messi took a 180-degree turn and decided to see the rest of his contract that ended earlier this year.
During the transition to Paris, Messi was reunited with Neymar at PSG, after he and the Brazilian played together for four seasons at Barcelona, joining compatriots Leandro Paredes and Angel Di Maria and coach Mauricio Pochettino. , also Argentine.
“That was a big part of my decision because I knew I was coming to a new country and had to start from scratch. Knowing that I had friends in the dressing room made me think that things would be easier to adapt, ”said Messi.
“And I was not wrong, because it was very easy to settle in, especially since there are many players who speak Spanish, like me, and some friends like ‘Ney’, ‘Lea’ [Paredes], ‘Video’ [Di Maria], who helped me when I arrived “.
The player has also admitted that adjusting to life in Paris, in general, has not been that easy.
“I have to admit I’m still a bit lost,” he said. “I must know the city to orient myself a little more easily. I had my habits in Barcelona, I know all the areas, I used to go to the same places ”.
Messi, his wife and their three children have yet to find a home and live in a hotel. She said her children are starting to teach her French as they are quickly learning the new language at school.
“They are better than me at that,” Messi said.