Barcelona: FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has urged everyone to look beyond the Lionel Messi transfer saga. The star forward tried to quit the club last month.
Bartomeu also said he has no plans to step down from his position despite a motion to remove him.
Messi, 33, returned to training with Ronald Koeman’s new-look Barca side this month after failing to engineer a move away from Camp Nou this summer.
“As president, I will not enter into any conflict with Messi,” Bartomeu was quoted by ESPNFC as having told TV3 on Saturday.
“Messi is our captain, our leader. The issue is parked. What has been said has been said. I couldn’t allow to let the best player in the world go. The team needs him, he guarantees success. Things have to be discussed at home. You have to support the team and the players.”
Bartomeu said Messi is excited about Koeman’s project.
“We have to congratulate ourselves that Messi is still with us. He is excited about Koeman’s project. The important thing is he plays for Barca, at his home. We want him to retire at the club.”
On his resignation, Bartomeu said: “Right now, no-one is considering resigning. The club is not going to stop. I think everyone was surprised by the number of signatures but we respect democracy and the club’s laws.”