Two senior Barcelona players were involved in a dressing room bust-up on Tuesday at the end of a morning training session. According to reports, the two players squared up to each other over claims of showboating in training.
According to AS, one of the players had dribbled the other in a training match and tried to dribble him again but the victim thought he was trying to humiliate him in the presence of the other players. He, however, confronted the other player after the end of the session which led to a shouting competition.
The report added that the dressing room was tensed up which reduced the mood of the training session. It was learned that other players intervened in the bust-up before it got out of control and calmed the two players down. Also, the players themselves restored sanity after the incident.
AS claim that a row between two teammates was as a result of bottled tension since the sack of former manager Ernesto Valverde in January. The report added that this has created some divisions in the dressing room. Also, the winter departures of some players and lack of adequate replacement brought in made it worse.
Some senior players have also accused others of dropping their game level under Valverde which led to the exit of the Spaniard. These players are not happy because they believed in the former coach who had won two league titles in two seasons and had the side top of the table.
The report also noted that the players have stopped observing their traditional pre-match huddle in their warm-up in the last two matches. Team captains, Lionel Messi and Gerrard Piqué usually encourage and motivate the team during this huddle ahead of any game.
Meanwhile, coach Quique Setien was relieved on Sunday when Barcelona beat Levante 2-1 to move back to within two points of Real Madrid at the top of the table.
Following the loss to Valencia last month, Setien said he was struggling to get his ideas across to the players, and admitted it would take time to get the team playing how he wants.
Following the defeat, he said: “It was not an attitude problem. We were not well positioned. We played a lot of passes without any sense to them, just for the sake of playing them.
“They are still not understanding things or perhaps we are not explaining them well.”