Compelled to deal with yet one more tough state of affairs relating to Lionel Messi, Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman demanded extra “respect” for his disgruntled star.
Koeman stated he understood why Messi was visibly indignant when journalists requested him in regards to the criticism directed at him by a former agent of teammate Antoine Griezmann when Messi arrived in Spain on Wednesday after an extended flight.
“I must defend Leo as a result of if one thing occurred to me after a visit of 15 hours in a airplane again to Barcelona — you go exterior and there’s a lot of press asking that kind of query — I might be harmful and hate them as properly,” Koeman stated on Friday.
“We have now to respect folks like Messi extra. And from what I’ve seen on the sector and in coaching, there isn’t a downside between (Messi and Griezmann).”
Eric Olhats, Griezmann’s agent till 2016, informed France Soccer journal final week that Messi has marginalized Griezmann in his “regime of terror” on the membership the place the Argentine supposedly “controls every part.”
When journalists requested Messi for his response, he wearily answered: “To be trustworthy, I’m a bit bored with at all times being the issue for every part on this membership.” That set off one other spherical of alarm bells on the Camp Nou about Messi’s future.
Many are involved that the most recent disagreeable episode is but one more reason for Messi to undergo together with his plan to depart the membership. Together with his contract expiring on the finish of this season, Messi will likely be free to barter with different golf equipment in January.
There may be widespread hypothesis he could possibly be tempted to reunite with former coach Pep Guardiola at Manchester Metropolis.
Koeman stated that whereas he doesn’t really feel it’s his job to persuade Messi to remain, he’s assured the 33-year-old ahead will extend his 20-year stint at Barcelona.
“I hope he’ll keep in Barcelona,” Koeman stated. “I feel it’s unbelievable what he has completed for this membership, however he’s the primary individual to decide about his future.”
Barcelona will go to Atlético Madrid, the league’s solely unbeaten crew, on Saturday.