Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has claimed that it will take some time for defending LaLiga Champions Barcelona to come to terms with the departure of their all-time top scorer Lionel Messi. Guardiola’s statement gains momentum due to on-going controversy at Camp Nou.
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
Lionel Messi has 18 months left in his contract. However, according to recent reports in Spain, the player’s contract has a special clause that would allow him to leave at the end of the current season on a free transfer. These rumours have intensified since the player is linked with a move to Manchester City due to his close ties with Pep Guardiola.
While speaking to Spanish YouTuber DjMariio, Pep Guardiola has revealed that Barcelona will find it hard to cope with the departure of Lionel Messi. It is inevitable to suffer when a player who scores 40-50 goals a season, departs. Guardiola has managed Messi for four years at Barcelona (2008-12), during which the duo won many accolades together. The Spaniard cited Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from Real Madrid to explain the on-going issues with Messi.
Things have heated up at Barcelona after Lionel Messi and club’s sporting director Eric Abidal were involved in a spat over the latter's comments on some players of the squad. Abidal had claimed that some players of the first team did not take many efforts on the field. This compelled Messi to openly slam Abidal for his comments and instead asked him to mention those who do not take efforts rather than generalising the complete squad.
The defending LaLiga champions are also trailing by three points to league leaders Real Madrid. Barcelona were also knocked out by Athletic Bilbao in the quarter-final of the Copa del Rey on Thursday. The Catalans will next play against Real Betis on Sunday (Monday IST).