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Lionel Messi comes for Barcelona’s Sporting Director and former team-mate Eric Abidal

Valentine Chinyem

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All may not be well between Barcelona FC ace Lionel Messi and his former teammate Eric Abidal, following an interview which the latter granted SPORT on Tuesday.

During the interview, Albidal, who is now the Sporting Director of the Spanish side, talked about events that led to the sacking of former Barcelona coach Ernesto Ververde.

He said the management of the club noticed the communication gap between the coach and the dressing room and that even if he had won the Super Cup tie against Atletico Madrid in January, Ververde was still going to be laid off, as decision has been reached by the management.

“Our department has to have their homework done because you never know what can happen,” said Abidal.

“We started working on the coach during my first summer. We looked for information and after, the president decided to renew him. We took it on because it was a club decision, but we already saw the problem wasn’t to do with results but that it was an internal thing. It’s never easy to take that decision but after the Clasico on December 18, we started to concrete his exit.”

“We watched the games and not the results, but how we played, the tactics, the work of the players who don’t play a lot. I’m focused on those details. Many players weren’t satisfied or working a lot and there was also an internal communication problem. The relationship between the coach and the dressing room has always been good but there are things as an ex-player that I could smell. I told the club what I thought and we reached a decision,” he said.

However, this did not go down well with Messi, as he took to his Instagram handle to fire back at Abidal.

According to the six time Ballon d’Or winner, Abidal ought to mention names, rather than speaking in parables.

“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.

“Players are responsible 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.”

The Spanish has picked up since the departure of Ververde, with coach Quique Setién taking over affairs at the club.

Meanwhile, the team has continued to enjoy a fine form, despite their shocking defeat to Valencia in January.

Barcelona’s 5-0 win over Leganes in the Copa del Rey Round of 16, and their 2-1 win over Levante Camp Nou over the weekend, all thanks to wonderkid Ansu Fati’s who gave them the double, shows they back in business.

Messi and co would be looking to close the gap between them and arch rival Real Madrid, when they travel to face Real Betison Sunday 9 February.

Barca sits in second spot on the league’s table with 3-points separating them and Real Madrid.

They will also be looking to take away a win when they travel to Bilbao face Athletic

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