• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Barcelona sack Eric Abidal as Sporting Director a day after sacking head coach Quique Setien

Eric Abidal

Barcelona on Tuesday announced that Eric Abidal’s contract as sporting director has been terminated. The former French international was a teammate of Messi’s in the past but had some tension with the Argentine superstar in recent months.

“FC Barcelona and Eric Abidal have reached an agreement for the ending of the contract that united the two parties,” the club said in a statement.

“The club would publicly like to thank Eric Abidal for his professionalism, commitment, dedication and the close and positive nature of his relationship with all aspects of the blaugrana family.”

After Barcelona’s historically humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, the future of Messi has been up in the air. Quique Setien was fired, and Ronald Koeman was appointed to be hired as his managerial replacement. Oh, and Messi reportedly wants out. It’s all the makings for an extremely intriguing offseason for Barca who will start La Liga play in under a month.

Earlier this season, Abidal ruffled some feathers with comments that prompted a strong response from Messi. He accused the players of not working hard enough under coach Ernesto Valverde, who was fired in January. Abidal told Sport that the players “were not satisfied nor worked hard” under Valverde and that there was an “internal communication issue.”

That didn’t set well with Messi, who responded promptly.

“Honestly, I don’t like doing these things, but I think everyone should be responsible for their tasks and take ownership of their decisions,” Messi wrote on social media.

“The players should own up to what happens on the pitch and additionally, we are the first ones to admit when we weren’t good.

“The sporting directors should also take their share of the blame and above all else own up to the decisions they make.

“Lastly, I think that when one speaks about the players, they should give names because if not they’re dirtying everyone and feeding things that are said and are not true.”

So, it remains to be seen if Abidal being out is a plus for Messi, but one would think so. It’s time for Barca to do whatever they can to convince the world’s best player that he needs to stay, and this seems like a positive, but small step forward.

Next would be bolstering a squad that needs a lot of work to fully contend once again in the Champions League.

Following this bombshell decision on Tuesday afternoon, however, Abidal will no longer be charged with such tasks and ends a two-year reign that brought with it a La Liga and Spanish Supercup title.