BARCELONA

Row between two Barcelona heavyweights at training

An incident last Tuesday was not spoken of but Barcelona have not done a huddle before the last two games as tensions rise in the dressing room.

Row between two Barcelona heavyweights at training
© MIGUEL RUIZ DIARIO AS

Barcelona want to send out messages of calm in the camp but the truth is that these are tumultuous times in the dressing room at the club. The sacking of Ernesto Valverde started the trouble and the mess created when trying to find his replacement, along with the winter departures and lack of adequate cover brought in made it worse. That was all compounded by the loss to Valencia last weekend and has created concern and uncertainty amongst the squad.

On Sunday, and for the second consecutive game, they didn't do their famous huddle as announced by the speaker. During this huddle, Messi and Piqué usually give their last few words of encouragement to the team ahead of the game. Asked about it after the game, Setién said he wasn't aware of the ritual. But it did exist.

Piqué booked against Levante.

Piqué booked against Levante.

Row at Barcelona training

What Setién didn't want to share was the row between two heavyweights in the dressing room on Tuesday during a morning training session. The two players squared up to each other at the end of the session. The row lowered the tone of the session. The players themselves restored calm after the incident.

This might not seem a big deal at a normal time, just a row between two teammates. It speaks to a wider agitated tone at the club since the start of 2020. The sacking of Valverde has left a bitter feeling with some players being accused of dropping their level under Valverde.

Under Quique Setién, they have reached the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey and have won two and lost one in the league. They have hardly convinced though with the game against Ibiza, in particular, very close to humiliation only for Griezmann to save the day with two late goals.