Barca President Reconciles With Messi

By Sunday Akintoye

FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says he does not wish to have any more disputes with club captain Lionel Messi.

This was after the Argentina captain reluctantly opted to stay at the club this month after failing to force through a move.

“I won’t get into any conflict with him. He’s our captain and the leader of our team,” Bartomeu said before the team’s 1-0 friendly win over Elche on Saturday.

“I couldn’t let him leave the club. He is the best player of all time and the team needs him. Having Messi is a guarantee of success.”

Messi had complained earlier this month that Bartomeu had not fulfilled a promise to allow him to break his contract unilaterally and leave the club without a transfer fee.

He had also lashed out at the president’s leadership.But Bartomeu chose not to fire back against Barca’s all-time top goalscorer.

Instead, he praised Messi for turning a page and performing well in the team’s pre-season matches, including scoring twice in a 3-1 win over Girona last week.

“We have seen him do his talking on the pitch and we have moved on from the saga,” Bartomeu added.

“We should congratulate ourselves for getting Messi to stay with us and for how he has behaved in the last few days. The best player in the world should stay at our home.”

Bartomeu has been in the firing line ever since Barca’s historic 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals last month.

Sunday Akintoye

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