BARCELONA

"Barcelona is a club of clowns; it has no class" - Dugarry

Christophe Dugarry, who played for Barcelona in 1997-98, has launched a bitter attack on his former club amid the current tensions at Camp Nou.

"Barcelona is a club of clowns; it has no class" - Dugarry
Xavi Bonilla / AFP7 / Europa Pre Xavi Bonilla / AFP7 / Europa Pre

Former Barcelona player Christophe Dugarry has not held back in his scathing criticism of the Camp Nou outfit, going as far as to call it a “club of clowns”.

Dugarry, who played for Barcelona during the 1997-98 season, was speaking on France’s RMC Radio, where he claimed that: “Barcelona has a very bad image and there is little elegance”.

Barcelona’s on-field troubles have been well documented this season. However, it is the off-the-field issues that have made headlines this week due to a spat between Lionel Messi and sporting director Eric Abidal that has caused tensions to boil over at the club.

Discussing the current situation at Barcelona on RMC Radio, 1998 World Cup winner Dugarry stated: “It is a club of clowns. Everything is done backwards.

“You have the impression that there is no project at the club. The only priority is the president being re-elected. They don't understand each other.”

Dugarry: Barcelona have struggled to replace Xavi and Iniesta

Dugarry went on to blast Barcelona’s transfer dealings over the past few seasons, during which time the club has struggled to find suitable replacements for former stalwart midfield pair, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

“Every market there is a problem... They work double and even triple. And since the departure of Xavi and Iniesta, they have spent a lot of money, but they have not been able to find the same game or the quality,” said the former Marseille, AC Milan and Bordeaux forward.

He added: “They have many problems and, above all, they have a very bad image. For a club at this level, there are too many people who don't have the elegance and class. It really is a club that has no class.”

Dugarry: Playing at Barcelona was “hell”

Dugarry has previously described his own personal experience at Camp Nou as “hell”. During his short and unhappy spell at Barcelona, he played just seven games as he struggled to win over the confidence of then-coach, Louis Van Gaal, who deployed the Frenchmen as a defensive midfielder, much to the frustrations of the player himself.

In an interview a few years back, he revealed that he was so unhappy at the club, he pretended to cry during a conversation with Van Gaal in a bid to force his exit.

"I spent six months asking myself what I was doing there. It was surreal," Dugarry told SFR Sport (via SportsJoe.ie).

"The worst thing was when I went to his office to ask to leave. I had to leave at any cost, and what's more, [the then France coach Aime] Jacquet had said we had to be first-choice at our clubs on the first day of 1998. I pretended to cry, saying 'I can't take anymore, I have to leave.'

"And he just looked at me and said: 'No, you can't leave. I believe in you.' What? You believe in me and you make me play as a defensive midfielder? It was a horrible six months. I went through hell."

Dugarry went to play for Marseille, Bordeaux and Birmingham after his disappointing stint at Barcelona, before retiring in 2005.