Barcelona president Laporta: Letting Messi go my saddest decision of all

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has again defended allowing Lionel Messi to leave last summer.

The Argentine forward ended up parting ways with the Blaugrana and joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, as the Catalan club had to comply with LaLiga’s wage cap rules.

“It is the saddest decision of all,” Laporta told Barcelona’s official media.

“I would never have wanted to make it, but I am not sorry either because we had to put the club above everything, which is what we did, even ahead of the best player. The situation was what it was.

“We came up against reality. It seemed that afterwards there was nothing, but Barcelona’s history continues and with work and good thought-out decisions we could return to the path of success, which is what we are doing.”

Laporta went on to express his gratitude towards Ronald Koeman for giving opportunities to youngsters, but stressed that his decision to sack him was correct.

“I had doubts after the first season, but out of respect for him we tried [to see how things would go],” added Laporta.

“There came a time when I saw that another painful decision had to be made. If I had had to make it earlier? Yes. I had to have listened to the intuition.

“I will always remember Koeman for the goal at Wembley, for a coach who had the courage to use young people. If he is hurt, I hope it will go away.”

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