Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted he was left upset by Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona on a free transfer.
The Argentina international, who represented the Catalan club for around 17 years, was released from his contract due to his wage demands and Paris Saint-Germain snapped him up on a free transfer.
Messi is, in many people’s opinions, the greatest player to ever grace a football pitch, and was clearly very emotional when talking about his departure from Barca earlier in the week.
The 34-year-old was in tears during his final press conference at the Camp Nou, with his desire to stay at Barcelona, but the club had to act due to the financial crisis they are currently in.
Arteta, who was raised in Barcelona’s famous academy – La Masia – has now addressed the hot topic in the world of football at the moment and admitted the transfer left him “sad”.
“He’s been the best-ever player on the planet. He was raised in Barcelona, a similar part to where I was [raised],” the Gunners boss told Sky Sports following Messi’s move to PSG.
“To let him go the way it happened, it’s sad, but it tells you, but it’s the financial crisis. As sad as it is, they had to do it, to save the club.
“Excitement and attention. Straight away, you could see everyone in Paris, how excited they are. The team they are building is incredible.”
Messi spoke to the world’s media for the first time as a PSG player on Tuesday evening and spoke about the sensational switch.
Talking to the club’s official website, the Argentine set out his ambitions. He said: “I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain.
“Everything about the club matches my football ambitions. I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here.
“I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I am looking forward to stepping out onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes.”