Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman defended captain Lionel Messi after he made an impressive showing in their 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday and hours after all the details of the mega players’ contract were revealed to Spanish media.
Messi scored his 650 goals with Barcelona from an elaborate free-kick to lead Barcelona with a goal against Bilbao, then Jordi Alba accidentally equalized his own goal, before Antoine Griezmann scored the victory goal.
It began on Sunday with a report in El Mundo newspaper that revealed the total spent Barcelona on extending Messi’s latest contract and said the deal’s value had devastated Barcelona after it caused the club’s current financial problems.
Koeman said at a press conference: I do not understand how anyone can link Messi with Barcelona’s destruction. He has spent years proving his potential and doing things for this club, and helping him win many important titles. Anyone who has spread this has bad intentions and wants to harm Barcelona. But we must be united, be focused, and we must forget everything that has been posted. Without Lionel, we wouldn’t have dreamed of winning every match.
“We have known for a very long time that he is the best player in the world, and he has done so much for his club and has been influential.” We should respect everything Messi did.
Barcelona threatened to sue El Mundo for publishing classified information and said he was not responsible for leaking the contract to the newspaper, although Koeman said the club needed to check the source of information.
He added: If it is from someone from the club, he cannot have a future here.
Javier Tebas, president of the Spanish League, criticized the disclosure of the details of the huge contract and said that Barcelona was suffering from financial problems due to the Coronavirus pandemic’s effects and not because of Messi’s contract.