After the sensational spur during the summer transfer window, Lionel Messi opened up about his dramatic exit saga while hailing Barcelona as "my life" in a long interview broadcast on Sunday.
Speaking to Spanish TV channel La Sexta, Messi remained coy on his future with the Catalan giants, however, insisting that he was "excited" to play under coach Ronald Koeman this season despite trying to leave the club where he has played his entire senior career.
At the time, he felt like he "needed a change", but his attempted exit was blocked amid a spat with former Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Messi's contract expires at the end of the season and from next month he will be free to negotiate a move away from Catalonia.
"Barca is my life, I'm in love with the club. And the city, my children were born here," Messi said in an interview conducted earlier this month, AFP reported.
"It's true I had a bad time in the summer. It came from everything that happened before the summer, how the season ended, the burofax (how Messi communicated his desire to leave), all of that."
"I carried that into the start of the season a little bit."
But Bartomeu stepped down in October and a new Barcelona president will be elected on January 24, after which 33-year-old Messi is expected to begin talks over whether to extend his career-long stay.
"I feel good right now, ready to fight for everything. I feel excited," he said.
Messi stressed on the dire situation of the club and six-time Ballon d'Or winner said he is under no illusions over the financial problems exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic likely to hamper player recruitment at Barca.
"I know the club is going through a difficult period and that makes everything surrounding Barcelona difficult, but I am motivated," he said.
He described Barca's situation as "really bad" and poured scorn on the much-anticipated prospect of reunification with Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.
"To do that you need money, and there is no money. Neymar would cost a lot," Messi said.
Much of the talk surrounding Messi's departure centred around the possibility he might reunite with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, although there are also reports of him potentially lining up alongside Neymar at PSG.
Messi won three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues in his four seasons under Guardiola and was full of praise for his former boss under whom he shattered all sorts of goal-scoring record.
"Pep has something special. He makes you see things in one way: how he prepares for matches, defensively, how to attack," he said.
"He told you exactly how the match was going to be, how you had to attack to win."