Lionel Messi expressed his pride in seeing Barcelona fans chanting his name at the Camp Nou throughout last season.

Barcelona supporters were chanting the iconic forward’s name in the 10th minute of matches as speculation mounted over a possible return. The 35-year-old’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain was due to expire at the end of June and the Blaugrana were keen on a reunion.

However, Messi chose to join MLS side Inter Miami as he had doubts about Barcelona’s financial stability. He was asked about the chants of the Camp Nou followers while on international duty with Argentina this week. He replied (via Albiceleste Talk):

“Even though I wasn’t there, they were chanting my name… It was a little strange, but it made a lot of sense. I spent many years there, and so did my kids. I have a deep connection with Barcelona.”

Lionel Messi is beloved by Barcelona fans after spending 16 amazing seasons in Catalonia. The Catalan champions have scored 672 goals and provided 303 assists in 778 matches across competitions. He won four Champions League titles, 10 La Liga titles, and seven Copa del Rey titles with the Blaugrana.

The Argentine great is set to be recognized for his extraordinary career with the La Liga giants. Barcelona released a statement on their website in response to Messi’s move to Inter Miami, saying:

“Joan Laporta and Jorge Messi (his father) have also agreed to work together to promote an appropriate tribute from Barcelona fans to honor a footballer who was and always will be beloved by Barcelona.”

Messi heads to MLS where he becomes the biggest name in the league’s history. He joins Inter Miami, who are currently in last place in the MLS Eastern Conference League.

Heron is hoping Messi can switch sides and repeat the form he achieved at the Camp Nou. The iconic striker also left Paris Saint-Germain as two-time Ligue 1 champions, scoring 32 goals and contributing 35 assists in 75 matches.

Lionel Messi spoke glowingly of his love for Barcelona in 2019

Farewell to Lionel Messi, the Blaugrana, in 2021.
Farewell to Lionel Messi, the Blaugrana, in 2021.

Lionel Messi made a sad exit from Barcelona in 2021 when the La Liga giants could not afford a new contract for their former captain. He wanted to stay with the Blaugrana but their financial complications forced him out the door.

The Argentine star commented on his love for Barcelona in 2019, saying he never wanted to leave the Camp Nou. He said (via Barca Worldwide):

“Barcelona is my life, they got me to where I am today. I couldn’t leave, I don’t want to leave. My heart stays with Barcelona.”

Lionel Messi left the Catalan giants and headed to Paris Saint-Germain where he struggled with adaptation issues. He also cultivated a frosty relationship with Parisienne, in stark contrast to the admiration he received during his sixteen seasons in Catalunya.

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