Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has held talks with the club’s sporting director Eric Abidal to discuss his future at the club following his public row with Lionel Messi.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper Sport on Monday, Abidal claimed that some Barca players were no satisfied with the former coach’s appointment and did not work hard under Valverde. He added that there was also a communication issue between the Spaniard and the players.
According to Abidal, a former team-mate of Messi, some players were unhappy with Valverde’s methods and this led to the Catalan giants’ struggle this season. Abidal said he made his feelings known to the board and clearly felt a change was needed which led to the exit of the manager.
“A lot of players were not happy and did not work much and there was also a problem with internal communication,” he said.
“The relationship between the coach and dressing room was always good, but there are things that as an ex-player I can sense. I told the club what I thought and we had to make a decision.”
However, in an Instagram post on Tuesday, Messi hit out at Abidal for suggesting that the players were responsible for the sack of former manager Ernesto Valverde. The club captain also asked Abidal to “give names” after the latter criticised the club’s players over their work ethic. He insisted that each member of the football club must be responsible for their tasks and take care of their decisions.
Messi warned the club chiefs against tainting the entire squad with criticism which may be directed at certain individuals. The Argentine also felt Abidal’s decision to go public was an error given how he had spoken for each individual player.
Messi wrote: “I honestly don’t like doing these things but I think everyone has to be responsible for their tasks and take care of their decisions.
“The players [have to be responsible for] what happens on the pitch and we are the first to recognize it when we did not do things well.
“Those responsible off the pitch must also assume their responsibilities and above all take responsibility for their decisions. I think when he [Abidal] talks about players, he has to give names because if not he is tarnishing everyone and fueling speculation that is not true.”