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Barcelona presidential candidate accuses Lionel Messi of disrespecting club by deciding to leave

Toni Freixa was previously a director for the Catalan side

Alex Pattle
Wednesday 26 August 2020 16:18 BST
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Lionel Messi of Barcelona
Lionel Messi of Barcelona (Getty Images)
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A candidate in the Barcelona presidential race and former club director has accused Lionel Messi of a lack respect following the forward’s announcement of his desire to leave the Nou Camp.

Barca captain Messi made clear on Tuesday his wish to move on from the La Liga side, with the club already in turmoil after their 8-2 Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich.

Since that result, coach Quique Setien has been replaced by Ronald Koeman while sporting director Eric Abidal has also been sacked. Furthermore, Messi’s fellow striker Luis Suarez has reportedly been told by Koeman that he is not needed at Barca as the overhaul continues.

Presidential candidate Toni Freixa, a former director at the Catalan club, said that Messi’s potentially imminent exit was little cause for concern, however.

“I am not overly concerned about Messi leaving, because everything has an end,” he told Radio Marca.

“What is important is that he did it in such an unfortunate way and without respecting the club.”

“I am surprised and disappointed as a Barcelona man. I am disappointed by what Messi has done.

“The contracts are to be fulfilled and what Messi has to do is come with €700 million and leave,” Freixa said, referencing the player’s reported release clause.

There are few clubs in the world that could afford the Argentina captain’s wages, but among them are Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain – the two favourites to sign Messi.

Inter Milan are also said to be among the potential destinations for the 33-year-old, should he depart this summer.

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