March 31, 2020, 08:03:45 PM

Author Topic: Lionel Messi Thread.  (Read 18665 times)

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Offline Flex

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Re: Lionel Messi Thread.
« Reply #120 on: February 06, 2020, 05:54:25 PM »
Manchester City monitoring Messi situation after Barcelona row - sources
Rob Dawson
Correspondent


Manchester City are monitoring Lionel Messi's public fallout with Barcelona and believe they would be in the running if the Argentina star decides to leave Camp Nou, sources have told ESPN.

Messi has been involved in a row with Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal over his claims players forced the dismissal of coach Ernesto Valverde.

The 32-year-old has a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave the club for free at the end of the season, although the full terms of the clause have not been made clear. Sources have told ESPN that while the clause is acknowledged, there is an acceptance on both sides Messi would not be allowed to leave for a rival, whether domestically or in the Champions League.

The Premier League holders privately admit his departure remains unlikely, but they would be interested if he decides to move either this summer or at the end of his current deal in 2021.

City maintain they would be at the head of the queue for Messi's signature because of his strong relationship with director of football Txiki Begiristain, chief executive Ferran Soriano and manager Pep Guardiola.

Together Messi and Guardiola won the Spanish title three times and the Champions League twice in four seasons at Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012. City are also one of only a handful of clubs who could afford Messi's wages of more 50 million a year.

Abidal, a former teammate of Messi's at Barcelona, said this week "a lot of players were not happy and did not work much" when discussing the sacking of Valverde.

It prompted Messi to hit back in a post on Instagram suggesting the Frenchman should name the players he felt had been involved in undermining the coach.

He wrote: "I honestly do not like to do this kind of thing but I think that everyone has to be responsible for their job and take responsibility for their decision.

"Players for what happens on the field, we are also the first to acknowledge when we don't play well."

Despite the acrimony on Tuesday, sources have told ESPN that Messi assured Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Wednesday that he is happy to turn the page on the incident and focus on the club's targets on the pitch between now and the end of the season, when he will move into the final 12 months of his contract.

Earlier on Wednesday, Valverde's replacement Quique Setien was faced with a barrage of questions about how Messi's social media post could affect the team, who are three points behind Real Madrid at the top of La Liga and still in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League. He repeated that his only focus was the Athletic Bilbao game in the Copa del Rey on Thursday (streaming live at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN+), although he said he had briefly spoken about Tuesday's incident with his squad.

"These things don't affect me," he added. "I try to make sure they don't affect my players, either.

"We spoke about it for one minute earlier but that was all. What interests me is football. At any club of this size, there are problems, but they are not things I can control."

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Lionel Messi Thread.
« Reply #121 on: Yesterday at 12:01:15 PM »
Messi confirms pay cut for Barca players, criticises board
Thomas ALLNUTT
AFP


Madrid (AFP) - Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona's players will take a 70 per cent pay cut and make financial contributions to ensure the club's other employees are paid in full during the state of alarm in Spain.

In a lengthy message posted on his Instagram account, Messi also took another swipe at the Barca board, led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, whom he accused of undermining the players during recent negotiations.

Other Spanish clubs are expected to follow suit in applying temporary pay cuts, as football's hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic leaves a number of them fighting for financial survival.

Atletico Madrid have said the club will impose salary reductions on staff whose hours have been affected while Espanyol have also confirmed pay cuts, although for sporting staff only.

"For our part, the time has come to announce that, as well as the reduction of 70 per cent of our salary during the State of Alarm, we will also make contributions so the club's employees can collect 100 per cent of their salary while this situation lasts," Messi wrote.

He added: "We want to clarify that our desire has always been to apply a drop in salary because we fully understand that this is an exceptional situation and we are the first ones who have ALWAYS helped the club when asked.

"Many times we have even done it on our own initiative when we thought it necessary or important.

"Therefore, it never ceases to amaze us that from within the club there were those who tried to put us under the magnifying glass and tried to add pressure to do something that we always knew we would do."

Messi's message was soon posted on the pages of nearly all of his Barcelona teammates, including Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, Arturo Vidal and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The relationship between Barca's players and board has been tense for several months, with Messi's public criticism of technical secretary Eric Abidal in February just one of a number of off-field controversies.

Barcelona released their own statement shortly afterwards on Monday, which said members of "all professional sports teams and most of the basketball team" had agreed to reduce their salaries.

It added: "In the case of the football first team the reduction will be more than 70 per cent as agreed with the club. This additional contribution by the team, plus the contribution from the club itself, will guarantee 100 per cent of the salaries of all non-sporting staff, who will be subjected to temporary redundancy this week."

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.