Messi's contract at PSG is expiring this summer, with Barcelona among the frontrunners - along with Inter Miami and Saudi Arabia - to secure the Argentine's signature. Messi said his "dream" was to return to Camp Nou, but instead opted for the MLS after too many issues surfaced surrounding a possible move to Barca.
Barca released a statement following the news, which read: "President Laporta understood and respected Messi's decision to want to compete in a league with fewer demands, further away from the spotlight and the pressure he has been subject to in recent years.
"Both Joan Laporta and Jorge Messi also agreed to work together to promote a proper tribute from Barca fans to honour a footballer who has been, is, and always will be beloved by Barca."
However, fans have criticised the message, suggesting it was "disrespectful" and "patronising".
One said: "That Barcelona statement was so unnecessary and disrespectful."
Another also replied: "This is low from Barcelona. Considering they are talking about their best player in club history. Don’t patronise his decision. He can do what he wants."
Barcelona's response came after Messi's interview with Mundo Deportivo and Sport, where he said he wanted to make his own decision and get back to enjoying football and his life again.
"I'm at a point where I want to step out of the spotlight a bit, think more about my family. I had two years [at PSG] where I was so unhappy on a personal level that I didn't enjoy it," Messi said.
"I had that month that was spectacular for me because of winning the World Cup, but apart from that, it was a difficult period for me. I want to rediscover joy, enjoy my family, my children, the day-to-day."
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.