New details have emerged concerning Lionel Messi’s feud with manager Quique Setien. Tensions were running high in the dressing room after Barcelona drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo on 27 June. The draw allowed Real Madrid to dethrone Barca from the number one spot in the La Liga table, as Los Blancos went on win the title.
According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, citing a report from SER Catalunya radio station, following the end of the game, a frustrated Messi questioned Setien’s tactics and reportedly told the manager to respect players who had won more games than him.
"If you don't like it, you know where the door is", Setien told Messi, cited by Mundo Deportivo. The Argentine forward responded by laughing.
Spanish media reports previously indicated that relations between Messi and Setien were strained. In February, a month after Setien was appointed, the Argentine stated that Barcelona did not have what it takes to win the UEFA Champions League. The reports allege that Setien took the statement as a pronouncement of dissatisfaction with his strategy.
Later, Messi suggested that the manager had misunderstood him and stressed that he never doubted Setien.
Opinions suggest that, in the end, Messi was right. Barcelona ended up losing sensationally to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, 8-2, and did not won a single trophy in La Liga. The 35-year-old sports icon has recently come under fire for an angry outburst during a game with Alaves.