Gerard Pigue blames old Barcelona board for Lionel Messi exit

Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has suggested that the blame for Lionel Messi’s departure from the club resides with the old management at Camp Nou.

Current president Joan Laporta has admitted to being surprised at just how atrocious Barcelona’s finances were when he took over from previous chief Josep Maria Bartomeu, whose years of reckless spending had left the club in a dire position.

Josep Maria Bartomeu

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Bartomeu has been accused of crippling Barcelona’s finances / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

It has been Laporta’s job to try and cut costs and get Barcelona under their salary cap, but despite their best efforts, the club were unable to clear enough space to re-sign Messi and are instead watching on as he inches closer to joining Paris Saint-Germain.

The club have repeatedly pointed the finger at La Liga for failing to help them out (as if it is their job to do so), but Pique was a little more switched-on as he attributed the blame to the Barcelona chiefs of years gone by.

“We’ve lost the best player of all time,” he said (via AS). “The team must adapt, and there is the talent to do so. The management of recent years has not been the best and that has penalised us. But history shows that we will bounce back.”

Pique continued (via Marca): “We know that without Leo, we have lost a very important piece. He is the best player in history. As far as talent goes, we will not be as talented, but the team has to grow in other areas.

“There are players who have to take charge and take responsibility. In the end, we are obliged to compete and try to win.

“When the best player in history leaves you, you have to be realistic and know that you’ve lost a very important part of the team, especially in attack. He brought so many goals and assists.”

Manager Ronald Koeman was eager to try and remain positive, acknowledging the severity of the situation but urging his players to re-focus their minds and work twice as hard to make up for Messi’s departure.

Lionel Messi, Ronald Koeman

Koeman hopes to see someone step up in Messi’s absence / David Ramos/Getty Images

“It is normal that it will be hard for everyone when a player like Messi leaves, but we have to turn the page because we cannot change this situation,” he said. “You have to play well and win, and work harder.

“Other players can take his position and play a leading role. But yes, we will no longer have Leo. We have to turn the page and be hopeful for the future.”

Source of the article

Author: XenBet

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