Leo Messi has confessed that he was "about to leave" Barcelona around 2014 because of all the reports relating to his problems with Spain's Hacienda.
The Barcelona captain, in an interview with RAC1, recognised that he went through some tough moments which almost forced him to quit his life in Spain.
"In the year 2012, 2013 and 2014, I had a tough time," he admitted. "Yes, for the issue with the Hacienda. It was really difficult for me and my family because people didn't really know what was happening. They heard things and the opined. A part of the press did the same, too."
Messi feels that in that moment "I think I was the first (to be investigated by the Hacienda) and for that reason it was all so hard. After, they showed that they came with everything for me and then they went for the rest. I think it was in part that ('either you pay or we'll do to you what we did Messi').
"My kids were little. At that time, I honestly thought about leaving. Not because I wanted to leave Barça, but to leave Spain because I felt mistreated and I didn't want to be here. I had many doors open but never anything official because everyone knew my desire was to continue but it was something which went beyond my feelings towards Barça."