Lionel Messi has opened up about the time when he seriously considered leaving FC Barcelona because he felt he was “mistreated”.

Messi, who has been associated with the club since he was 13, has broken several records to surpass the club's past legends to claim the title of the greatest player to have ever played for the Catalans.

The Barcelona captain disclosed in a recent interview that it wasn’t that he wanted to leave the club but he wanted to leave Spain because of the tax row he was involved in with the government.

“At that time, with the mess of the treasury, I wanted to leave, not for wanting to leave Barca but wanting to leave Spain. I felt that I was being very mistreated and I didn't want to stay here. I never had an official offer because everyone knew my idea to stay here,” Messi told local radio station RAC1.

Messi and his father were found guilty by the Spanish government for defrauding them of $4.4 million between 2007 and 2009. The Argentinian duo was initially slammed with a 21-month prison sentence before it was reduced to a fine of $245,000.

“It was very difficult for me and my family because people don't know much about what's going on. The truth is that it was hard for everything that happened but it is better that my children were small and did not know,” added Messi in the interview.

There have been rumors about Messi’s possible departure from Barcelona at the end of the season following the skipper’s disagreements with the club’s board that he had expressed on social media.

Lionel Messi and Barcelona have been given permission to restart La Liga next month Lionel Messi and Barcelona have been given permission to restart La Liga next month Photo: FC BARCELONA / Miguel Ruiz

However, Messi has rubbished any kind of reports that have stated his exit from Barcelona saying he will end his career at Nou Camp.

“Today my idea and that of my family is to end here. Especially first because of how I am in the club, how I feel in the club, then because of the familiar, for how good we are in this city, for my children, for not changing my friendships and I don't want it broken because I had to live it on my personal level,” added Messi, whose contract allows him to leave Barca as a free agent this summer.