Eric Abidal, Barcelona’s former sporting director, spoke out about the dispute with Catalan striker Lionel Messi about a year ago. Abidal claimed in an interview at the time that some Barcelona players were dissatisfied with the tactics of former club coach Ernesto Valverde. Messi then slammed Abidal, telling him to name real people while he makes comments like this.
“I believe I was right. They should have worked better on their training, in my opinion. It was as if Guardiola was saying, ‘You like the best?’ Then you would train like a champion. Only by working hard all week would you be able to win anything.’ That’s what I was referring to. I didn’t hear anything about the players having to fire the coach,” Abidal told The Telegraph.
“Messi even talked to me directly. It was a serious discussion, but I can handle it. There is no issue and you must ensure transparency. I feel at ease because Messi was the only player who talked to me in that manner. It’s the only one. That is everything I admire. I recognize that Messi is the captain and that he had to defend the team. Messi, on the other hand, never ordered me to shoot the coach. Never, ever.”
“There is nothing I need to mend in my friendship with him. Nothing has changed between us, in my opinion. I’m not sure what he feels about it, but I believe the case is locked. We’ve talked a lot, and he knows what I’m thinking. I didn’t want to make too much of it and create trouble for the club.”