BARCELONA

Barça sporting director Abidal takes swipe at Xavi and Valverde

Eric Abidal claimed there was no official offer made to Xavi to coach Barcelona and also criticised former coach, Ernesto Valverde.

Barça sporting director Abidal takes swipe at Xavi and Valverde
LLUIS GENE AFP

Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has taken a dig at club legend Xavi, who he implicitly accused of filtering news of the meeting the pair held in Qatar last month. Abidal also claimed that no official offer was made to Xavi to take over as coach, as had been reported at the time.

“There was no offer. If he (Xavi) has it, let him show it because I haven't seen it,” said Abidal in an interview with Catalan daily Sport.

“In the first meeting we had, Xavi listened. In the second he had to tell us his plan. What came out in the press was more political than sports-related. I don’t do politics. I only talk about football.

“I am interested in talking about the way a coach works and many things came out except what we were talking about.”

Abidal also went on to cite Xavi’s lack of experience for the role, but claimed the door would be open to him in the future.

“He doesn’t have so much experience. It is true that he is from our house. It may or may not be his time. The club opted for Quique Setién for two years and we trust him a lot. The door will always be opened to Xavi. I don't know if I'll be there, but Barça always has the door open.”

Abidal also criticises Valverde

What was even more surprising from the interview was Abidal’s criticism of former coach Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked last month and replaced by Setién.

“I watched the games and did not look at the result but how the game was played, the tactics, the work of the players, who were not playing much,” said Abidal.

“I look at those details. Many players weren’t satisfied and weren’t working hard. And there was also an issue of internal communication. The coach-dressing room relationship has always been good, but there are things that I can smell as a former player. I told the club what I thought and a decision had to be taken.”