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Messi could not have stayed even with Griezmann's exit' - Barcelona president Laporta reflects on 'sad' departure

The Liga giants bid farewell to a club legend over the summer, with it "strange" to see the iconic Argentine turning out for PSG

Barcelona president Joan Laporta says Lionel Messi could not have been retained even if Antoine Griezmann's return to Atletico Madrid had been pushed through sooner, with those at Camp Nou still coming to terms with the "sad" events of a hectic summer.

The Blaugrana knew that they were being backed into a corner when it came to Messi's future, with the six-time Ballon d'Or winner running down the final year of his contract.

Fresh terms were agreed with the iconic Argentine, but paperwork was never signed and Laporta - who has overseen a serious cost-cutting exercise in Camp Nou - admits it is "strange" to see the club legend turning out for Paris Saint-Germain.

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