Messi lets off steam with Bartomeu in his sights

Spanish sports daily ‘Sport’ yesterday published an out-and-out scoop. A sensational article, which nobody else had. You’ve probably already seen it: an in-depth, lengthy interview with Leo Messi, right at the moment when there are all manner of doubts about his situation at Barcelona: his never-ending calf injury, his contract renewal with the right to leave on 30 June if he wants to, an immediate future with no Neymar… he went over all of it and more, and I definitely felt he was letting off steam over his frustration at the failure to sign Neymar. Compared with his rather cold response to questions about Griezmann, Messi was passionate about how much he had wanted the Brazilian to come back to the club.

Messi doubts Barcelona's efforts over Neymar

He even cast doubt over whether Barça had done everything possible to sign Neymar, contradicting what Bartomeu had said in a long television interview. Messi talked several times about the need for a project sufficiently competitive to win titles, with a failure to put that in place being the only thing that would see him leave Barcelona. He regretted the fact there had been so many sporting directors in such as short space of time, and nominated Puyol for the role. Overall, it was a lengthy statement in which he seemed to place in doubt the abilities of the current club management to recreate the unstoppable Barcelona of recent times. Plenty of signings have come and gone from the club without any of them making a solid place for themselves. And that’s making Messi nervous.

Messi letting off steam

But it’s worth remembering a few things. Messi has won a huge amount with Barcelona and nothing with his other team, Argentina. Lately the side has failed in the Champions League because as he himself says he failed to score on several big occasions. The goals are meant to come from him and his intimate team-mate Luis Suárez. As to Neymar, he’s suing Barcelona, which isn’t a minor matter, and PSG’s demands were impossible to meet. His return, so desperately sought by Messi and his clique, wasn’t just irrational, it was impossible. Still, it’s good for Messi to talk and set out his complaints, because he’s earned there right to do so, and what he says is interesting.. although it sounds in part like he’s letting off steam.