Lionel Messi has revealed that in 2013 he wanted to leave FC Barcelona as he felt he and his father were "very badly treated" by Spain when they were investigated for filing fraudulent tax returns.

"Sincerely, at that time, I thought about leaving. Not because of Barcelona but because I wanted to leave Spain, I didn't want to stay here any longer. I had my doors open to many clubs but I never got an official offer because everyone knew I really wanted to stay. This situation went way beyond my feelings for Barca," Messi said.

However, he now has decided to end his career at Barca.

"My idea is to stay for many years. I've always thought this way and nothing has changed. It's clear that my idea is to finish my career at Barca. Especially because of what I feel for the club and for my family. We are very happy in Barcelona," Messi, who joined Barca's famous La Macia academy as a 13-year-old, said.

Messi has always mentioned playing for Argentina's Newell someday. But, Barca's record goalscorer has chosen to sacrifice that dream for his family.

"From my childhood, I have dreamed of playing for Newell's because of what football means in Argentina, but sometimes one has to prioritize the family. I wouldn't like to break up the friendships that my children have made here, as happened to me when I was little," the 32-year-old Argentine said.

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Lionel Messi AFP / Josep LAGO

With 604 goals, he is the current record goalscorer for the Spanish champions, while he is second on their all-time appearance list behind former teammate Xavi Hernandez.

Ever since Barca signed Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid earlier this year, there have been rumors that Messi is not happy with the decision as he wanted the club to re-sign his former teammate and good friend, Neymar. Messi did admit he would be happy to have Neymar back but he also cleared that he is not the decision-maker where the club signings are concerned.

"The last time I talked to Bartomeu [Barcelona's president] was in Liverpool, but we've not met since. I have no problem with him. Sometimes, he asks for feedback from the dressing room on the subject of signings, like with Neymar or Griezmann. But it isn't true that I decide who we are to sign or which coach is here."

"I think that Neymar regretted leaving FC Barcelona from the first day. He realized that he was wrong. I didn't criticize the board for not signing Neymar. I was not part of the negotiations," Messi further explained.