By Thandie Chadzandiyani

MADRID-(MaraviPost)-Lionel Messi fought back tears as he began a press conference at which he confirmed he is leaving Barcelona, where he has played his entire career.

“I tried to behave with humility and respect and I hope that is what remains of me when I leave the club,” Messi told a news conference as hundreds of fans, many wearing his number 10 jersey, massed outside Barca’s Camp Nou stadium to bid farewell to the player.

The 34-year-old Argentinian superstar, six times a Ballon d’Or winner, has been out of contract since the end of June and Barca say they cannot afford to keep him.

“This year, my family and I were convinced we were going to stay here, at home – this is what we wanted more than anything,” said a suited Messi as he struggled to contain his emotions.

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