Lionel Messi slams Barcelona’s sporting director Eric Abidal

Lionel Messi has hit out at Barcelona’s sporting director Eric Abidal for suggesting that the club’s players were not working hard under former coach Ernesto Valverde.

Valverde was sacked by Barcelona last month and Abidal subsequently claimed that he could ‘smell’ unrest in the dressing room.

‘Many players weren’t satisfied or working hard and there was also an internal communication problem,’ Abidal said in an interview with Sport.

‘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 [on Valverde].’

But Messi has reacted angrily to Abidal’s claims and has urged his former Barcelona teammate to name the players he feels are responsible.

‘Honestly, I don’t like doing these things but I think that everyone has to be responsible for his acts and take responsibility for their own decisions,’ Messi wrote on Instagram.

‘The players [are responsible for] what happens on the pitch, and we have been the first to recognise when we were not good.

‘The people in the sporting directorate should also assume their responsibility and above all take ownership of the decisions they make.

‘Finally, I think that when players are talked about, names should be given because, if not, we are all being dirtied and it feeds comments that are made and are not true.’

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