Drama at Barcelona: Eric Abidal Sack ‘imminent’ after Interview Infuriates Messi
Eric Abidal’s future as Barcelona’s director of football is hanging by the thread after he criticised the club’s players over their work ethic.
RAC1 are reporting that Abidal could well be dismissed once Josep Maria Bartomeu arrives for the emergency meeting arranged after Tuesday’s comments from Lionel Messi.
The Frenchman suggested players in the current team were unhappy and had not been working hard enough under former coach Ernesto Valverde.
“A lot of players were not happy and did not work much and there was also a problem with internal communication,” Abidal told Spanish newspaper Sport.
“The relationship between the coach and dressing room was always good, but there are things that as an ex-player I can sense. I told the club what I thought and we had to make a decision.”
Messi, however responded to the comments on social media telling the club’s senior officials to take responsibility for their own actions and warned them against tainting the entire squad with criticism which may be directed at certain individuals.
“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 decisions,” Messi said on Instagram.
“Players for what happens on the field, we are also the first to acknowledge when we don’t play well.
“Those in charge of sporting direction should also face up to their responsibilities and above all take charge of their own decisions.
“Lastly, I think that when you talk about players, you should give names because otherwise you are tainting everyone’s name and feeding rumours that spread and are not true.”
Barcelona have gone through Robert Fernandez and Pep Segura in recent years, and Bartomeu had tried to recruit Carles Puyol for the role before Abidal was appointed, and they also spoke to Jordi Cruyff.
Segura’s departure last summer, in turn, caused Jordi Mestre’s resignation as vice-president and this is what was the initial spark for this most recent crisis at the club.
Abidal oversaw the negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain to bring Neymar back, which ended unsuccessfully, though he did complete moves for Frenkie de Jong, Antoine Griezmann, Neto and Junior Firpo.
But now his position is at risk after his interview with Sport prompted a reaction from Lionel Messi, on top of the fact that he failed to add an attacking reinforcement in January, despite Luis Suarez picking up an injury.