Is Messi overrated because he dribbles well

Luis Suárez is no longer being planned


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Messi saw himself personally attacked by the statement. It's no secret that hardly anyone has enjoyed as many privileges over the years as he did at FC Barcelona. His salary was increased again and again, he was allowed to express derogatory comments about board members without consequences (he once accused the former CFO Javier Faus of being ignorant, whereupon Faus had to apologize to Messi) and decided on the careers of fellow players like David Villa or Zlatan Ibrahimović. Already Pep Guardiola, Messi's great supporter, complained towards the end of his coaching time in Barcelona: "We have created a monster."

Unlike various predecessors, Koeman is no longer willing to submit to Messi's rule. For him, only the team counts, the new coach said often and emphasized that he only wanted to work with players who also want to be part of the club. An open affront to Messi, who is reported to have told Koeman that he sees himself "more outside the club".

The relationship between the two men was finally disrupted when Koeman told Luis Suárez on the phone that he was no longer planning with him. Suárez is Messi's closest confidante in the squad, as a return on the unworthy resignation of the deserved striker and close friend, Messi probably sent his resignation letter.

The latest events are only parts of a longer development, the alienation between FC Barcelona and its most famous employee has been going on for months. As captain, Messi had always sought confrontation with the sporting decision-makers. At least since the dismissal of the popular coach Ernesto Valverde, the team and the directive have been far apart. Unsavory revelations followed about an alleged defamation campaign by the club, which also affected Messi. The players returned the favor with an initially unyielding attitude when it came to wage cuts in the wake of the corona pandemic.

Messi, who can react extremely sensitively to changes in his environment, was very aware that his position at the club was deteriorating. He had really clashed with the presidium last summer, when Barcelona's decision-makers opted for Antoine Griezmann instead of the Neymar called for by Messi and other sizes in the dressing room. The disagreements dragged on through the entire season and at the decision-making level the whispered louder and louder that a farewell to the idol would not be so inconvenient.

"Messi, stay!"

Barcelona has got into serious financial difficulties due to the corona pandemic. No club spends that much money on its squad (392 million euros), of which Messi alone cuts around 50 million - per year. Getting him off the payroll would make economic sense. Especially since other high earners such as Luis Suárez or Ivan Rakitić are supposed to leave. The upheaval is in full swing.

Whether the chosen path with Koeman as the new coach is the right one is at least doubtful. The Dutchman remained largely unsuccessful in stations as a club coach in Valencia or Everton. In 2007 in Valencia he managed to turn all the leading players against him within a few months. Koeman was the first election of the presidium to president Josep Bartomeu, who now has to live with the stigma of being the president under whose reign it came to the break with the greatest player in the club's history. For many members, Bartomeu is already the worst president in the association's 121-year history.

New elections are scheduled for the coming spring, and Bartomeu's competitors campaigned aggressively with a plan that included Xavi, another icon of Barcelonianism and Messi confidante, as coach. Whether Messi would have stayed with Xavi as coach will now forever be room for speculation. If anything, Xavi is the future. The present is called Koeman.

What FC Barcelona fans think of the action of the old directive, they showed on Tuesday evening after the news of Messi's farewell got through. Larger groups moved in front of the Camp Nou, demanded the replacement of the presidium and sang as loud as they could behind their corona masks: "Messi quedate!"Messi, stay!