Lionel Messi ‘looked like a broken man’ criticizing Barcelona’s season – Sid Lowe | ESPN FC

published on July 20, 2020

Messi had some interesting choice of words here sid beaten for intensity and desire as he said barcelona were for much of the season he also said the team were weak and inconsistent these are harsh words from messi what's been the reaction

Yeah it was extraordinary to see and in part the reaction has been as you just pointed out what sport did which was to use his own words because there's not really very much we can add to

In terms of the analysis of what's going on in terms of an analysis from such an authorized voice in fact the most authorized voice that there is at barcelona it was it was quite something to see him say it

The way in which he said it the the sense that he looked like a like a broken man he looked like he'd absolutely had enough and so the if you like the next step in terms of how people received

What he said last night was first of all to take on what he said in terms of the the content of it and to essentially say well he's quite right and then to to discuss what this means in terms of

The the consequences of what he said because there's there's a number of things in there that i think are very significant there's the suggestion for example that the players have to be autocritical

Or self-critical rather to use let's try and speak english properly shall we so the place should be self-critical but that this was a broader club-wide thing the suggestion that everything has been bad since january

And of course it won't have passed people by that january is the month from which they sack valve early and brought kika setien in the suggestion that if they don't change

They will not win the champions league in fact not only will they not will win the champions league they will not even get through the game against napoli it was an incredibly

Pessimistic analysis it was an incredibly direct analysis and it was one that i think leaves absolutely no doubt as to the understanding the belief the idea within the dressing room

That this team is in an absolutely dreadful state at the moment sid one more thing that messi said if they want to be competitive in champions league they'll need to see

Big changes we're taping this friday night spanish time could that big change be kikis at the end on his way out before the champions league in august

Well i i think the fact that he said as as i just mentioned the the everything has been bad since january which is when setting comes in i i think is a very telling remark um i i i suspect that it wasn't his

Intention to be quite so direct about setien personally but i think there's no doubt that that he feels that that is part of the problem although not the key problem because of course the very fact that

He's talking about everyone they're very fat that we saw that barcelona weren't playing well when they sacked valverde there's a reason they sacked him even if they were top then and have lost the league now um i must

Admit i think if there was a plausible alternative i would not be enormously surprised if passed owner took that decision bear in mind there's quite a lot of time now between the end of this season and

The beginning of the champions league campaign albeit barcelona how to play napoli which means that they restart quicker than others the question mark there though is what is the alternative who is the person they can bring in and

Bear in mind as well that it's only i think three days now since joseph maria bartomeu the president of barcelona said i expect kikosetti to continue next year we want him to

Complete his contract he still has a year left on that contract sid we had jules on the show yesterday i think i've given jules a couple times to take back all of his criticisms of ernesto valverde remember this guy did

Win la liga titles for all the catastrophic failures of champions league is anyone around barcelona prepared to admit that getting rid of valverde as aesthetically unpleasing as it may have

Been was a mistake look i think some people are thinking that now but i think i think in fairness it's it's important to contextualize this i i don't think that that many people

Really lamented the departure of valverde i think the the disappointment with it i think the the anger with that decision was the timing i think it was the way in which it was

Done i think even if you look at it now there will be a lot of people who said well doing it the way that they did it doing it with the the failure to get a replacement in because bear in mind that setien

And you know this isn't intended to to be dismissed if i'll set him but setting i think was there for third maybe fourth maybe even fifth choice they tried chavy they tried tierra marie they tried ronald coombe

And they'd spoken to pochettino as well um he was the fourth or fifth choice and so that tells you that they weren't ready to make that change they weren't prepared to have everything in place to make sure it ran smoothly now

I think most people now would look at this and say well this shows that the the validity was very good at keeping a lid on crises very good i think keeping things calm but that's not necessarily to say that

He should have continued it's just that he should not have gone at the moment in which he went and in the manner in which he went and with the replacement with which he was replaced by

Let's talk long-term future at barcelona and put yourself in the shoes of a barcelona fan like where is the cause for optimism with this team if they get rid of set the end it's the third manager they've had in

The last season you look at a team that hasn't played well the future doesn't look bright messi is even talking about potentially leaving is there hope for optimism with all the

Chaos at the management level well look i i think there is and the reason i think there is is that the at the risk of sounding overly simplistic look at the barcelona squad there's a lot of good players in there now we've

Talked endlessly we've analyzed over and over again the dependency upon messi how how significant he is how at times that's problematic for the club how at times it shows that there are big flaws in the squad

But he's still looking at squad with a huge amount of talent in there we're still looking at a squad but before this season won two league titles very comfortably in a row we're still looking at one that yes

As messi said during his uh his talk yesterday after game against oscar sooner he said that roma hurt the liverpool hurt that they hadn't given the fans anything but they were a goal at anfield away or

Even just protecting themselves by one goal at anfield away from almost certainly winning a treble last season you know they lost the copper a final they didn't make it to champions

League fine i think had they got there they would have probably won it now obviously that's partly supposition but but there is i think there's enough there to believe that there can be some optimism i think

The bigger problem from barcelona's point of view wouldn't necessarily be looking at the squad wouldn't necessarily be looking at the management but looking at the institutional crisis and thinking

Where does this end how much how much worse does this have to get before something is done bear in mind that we're a year away from presidential elections and i think that possibly more than anything else is

The thing that will most worry barcelona fans sid you and i were on the show the day that the news broke that messi was stalling his contract talks with barcelona at the time you didn't sound convinced that this was

Necessarily the first step on his way out but given what's happened in the last 24 hours are you moving at all on that no not really because i i think when you when you listened to him

Uh yesterday he was asked already about this he said look now's not the time to talk about this it did sound i must admit like someone who was thinking well you know i don't even want to talk about

This now because i you know i'll i'll lose control of what i'm saying you know i will say something i shouldn't i will make things worse but i i still think that his position on his

Future is about a determination this team must compete about his discomfort with the board as it currently stands and in any case the suggestion was already that this was something for the

End of next season by the end of next season as we've just talked about some of the solutions should be in place or at least some of the beginning of a change a change in

Board of directors a change in present a change in structure a change at institutional level which is what messi needs most of all by which time of course messi will also be 34 so who knows

If at that point messi might anyway be thinking about retirement regardless of everything that's going on around barcelona which of course as he made very very clear last night he is absolutely furious about

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