Messi hits back at Barcelona director over dressing room comment

Ross Houston
February 5, 2020

The most important player in Barcelona's history rarely gets embroiled in controversy but he took to Instagram on Tuesday to respond to claims made by Abidal in an interview that "many players were not satisfied" with Valverde.

In an interview with Spanish daily Sport Abidal said that under Valverde, who was sacked in mid-January, many players had been unhappy, hadn't worked hard enough nor communicated properly.

But on Tuesday Messi, 32, responded: "When you talk about players, you have to give names because if not, it gives air to things which are not true". We took it on because it was a club decision, but we saw that there was a problem internally.

Messi's shock response to Abidal's comments come just a day after revelations in Diario AS that two Barcelona players had a training ground disagreement last week as tension at the club rose over Valverde's sacking. The coach/club relationship was always good, but there are things that, as a former player, I can smell.

Six-time Ballon d'Or victor Messi responded on Instagram, writing: "Sincerely, I don't like to do these things but I think that people have to be responsible for their jobs and own their decisions".

"Players for what happens on the field, we are also the first to acknowledge when we don't play well".

Barca are next in action on Friday in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals against Athletic Bilbao - coach Quique Setien is due to address the media in his usual pre-match news conference on Thursday, with the comments of Abidal and Messi likely to be high on the agenda. "If [Xavi] has the offer, show everyone", the sporting director said, adding: "He doesn't have so much experience".

"We as a club want to make him even happier and to do that by surrounding him with the right teammates".

In the summer, Messi had amditted tat he wanted the club to sign Neymar, which they failed to do.

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