Mundo Deportivo on Thursday reported that Lionel Messi had made up his mind to leave Barcelona but that his final visit with former coach Tito Vilanova before he died convinced the Argentine to change his mind. According to the report, Messi and teammate Jose Pinto visited Vilanova in the hospital for close to two hours three days after Barca lost to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final and less than a week before Vilanova died.
During the talk, Messi revealed that he had made up his mind to leave, but Vilanova urged him to reconsider, saying that he wouldn’t find a better club than Barca. A day later, Messi scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win against Athletic Bilbao. On May 19, he agreed a new contract tying him to the Camp Nou until 2018.