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Messi: Former Barcelona player Carrasco fears for star's future

Francisco José 'Lobo' Carrasco says he fears for Lionel Messi's future at the Camp Nou after tensions boiled over at Barça on Tuesday.

2nd February 2020; Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; La Liga Football, Barcelona versus Levante; Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona during La Liga match between Levante at FC Barcelona at Camp Nou Stadium
 Marc Gonzalez Aloma / AFP7 / Europa Press
Marc Gonzalez Aloma / AFP7Europa Press

Former Barcelona player Francisco José 'Lobo' Carrasco says he fears for Lionel Messi's future at the Camp Nou in the wake of the Argentine's public war of words with the club's sporting director, Éric Abidal.

Carrasco doubtful over Messi future as tensions boil over at Barcelona

Carrasco, who spent 11 years in the Barça first team between 1978 and 1989, told the Spanish television show 'El Chiringuito' on Tuesday night: "He's ill at ease.

"In all the years I've been watching him and have loved the way he plays [...], it's the first time Messi has looked to me like he has one foot out of the door. I've never had to say that before."

Messi takes aim at Abidal over comments

Earlier on Tuesday, Messi hit back at Abidal for telling an interview in the Catalan newspaper Sport that some players "weren't working hard" under ex-Barça boss Ernesto Valverde, writing on Instagram: "I think that when someone mentions players, they should give names because if they don't, they are tarring everyone with the same brush and fuelling gossip - a lot of which is not true."

The row comes amid an unimpressive start to life under Valverde's replacement, Quique Setién, which has seen Barça narrowly avoid Copa del Rey embarrassment against third-tier Ibiza and slip three points off the top of LaLiga.

Bartomeu calls Abidal in for crisis meeting

With Abidal's position at the club coming under question following his incendiary interview, Barça president Josep María Bartomeu has reportedly called the Frenchman in for crisis talks on Wednesday, amid speculation the sporting director could be relieved of his duties.

Athletic Copa test up next for Setién's Barcelona

Barça's next game sees them travel to San Mamés to face Athletic Bilbao in the quarter-finals of the Copa on Thursday, before Setién then takes his side to former club Real Betis in LaLiga on Sunday.