"All of us who shared Barcelona's locker room with Tito are deeply affected, considering what he gave us as a person and as a professional," Messi said in a statement. "I, personally, will always hold dear the things he shared and went through with me, which I will never forget."
"I had always thought he would be able to stay," Messi said before his Spanish club Barcelona plays an exhibition game Sunday. "But there are lots of things in football you can't predict. Now we're four years from the next World Cup and we need to do a good job of preparing."