Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen were recently involved in a training ground spat amid ongoing controversies at the club. According to reports in Spain, the scuffle had links with Barcelona’s 2-0 defeat against Valencia in LaLiga.
According to Spanish publication Deportes Cuatro, Lionel Messi did not participate in the team’s pre-match talk ahead of the Valencia clash and rather went down the dressing room furiously. He and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen were again involved in a spat in the training for undisclosed reasons later.
Lionel Messi has been at loggerheads with Barcelona board and particularly president Josep Bartomeu. Recently, Messi and sporting director Eric Abidal were involved in a heated exchange when the latter criticised former club manager Ernesto Valverde and club legend Xavi.
Eric Abidal had also claimed that certain first-team players did not contribute much on the field. This compelled Lionel Messi to question Abidal’s claims openly. He asked him to mention the names of the players rather than generalising the whole team.
Disappointed by the undeserved elimination in the Copa but proud of the ambition and attitude. Congratulations to Athletic and to the fans who made the trip to support us. Confidence is total in the coaching staff and the players who will battle to the end in the league & UCL— Josep Maria Bartomeu (@jmbartomeu) February 6, 2020
According to El Cheringuito TV, Lionel Messi has also given an ultimatum to the club, demanding the resignation of president Josep Bartomeu. The player has stated that either he stays at the club or Bartomeu. There is a special clause in Messi’s contract which would allow him to leave Barcelona at the end of the current season on a free transfer. Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus and Inter Milan are reportedly interested in signing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Barcelona stars were left infuriated after their side’s defeat against Athletic Bilbao on Thursday. The defending LaLiga Champions were knocked out by Bilbao in the quarter-final of the Copa del Rey. The Catalans are also trailing by three points to arch-rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga. They will next play against Real Betis on Sunday.