Eric Abidal has said that Barcelona did not want to offer him a new deal because they considered it to be too risky.
Abidal, 33, made a successful recovery from a liver transplant last season and battled his way back into first-team contention with the Primera Division champions.
He had previously spent a year on the sidelines as he recovered from the transplant last April and is now determined to make up for lost time by continuing to play for another two years.
"They considered it a risk that something could happen to me and did not want the responsibility," Abidal told El Mundo.
"But I will continue playing while my doctors give me permission. I think it is the right time to leave, I will try to reach 35 before I retire."
Despite failing to secure an extension to remain with Barcelona the former France international defender says he leaves with only good memories of his time at the club.
"I wanted to continue [at Barca] and this is not what I expected, but I leave with good memories. Barcelona have been my second family," he added.
"It was hard and the decision was taken by many people, not just the coach.
"I'm not made of glass, though. When I made my comeback after undergoing surgery, that was the hardest game for me."