Messi strikes back at Barcelona executive over poor ‘work ethic’ comment

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has asked Barcelona’s sporting director Erick Abidal to name names following his criticism of the work ethic of players.

Abidal, who is a former teammate of Messi’s at Barcelona, suggested that players on the team were unhappy and not working hard enough under ex coach Ernesto Valverde.

Abidal stated, “A lot of players were not satisfied [with Valverde] and did not work much and there was also a problem with internal communication. 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,” said Abidal.

Messi responded to the comments via social media urging club senior officials to take responsibility for their decision to fire Ernesto Valverde and warned against criticism which may taint the entire squad rather than addressing certain individuals.

“I honestly do not like to do this kind of thing but I think that everyone has to be responsible for their job and take responsibility for their decisions,” Messi said in an Instagram post.

“Players for what happens on the field, we are also the first to acknowledge when we don’t play well. Those in charge of sporting direction should also face up to their responsibilities and above all take charge of their own decisions. Lastly, I think that when you talk about players, you should give names because otherwise you are tainting everyone’s name and feeding rumours that spread and are not true.”