Great Britain

Lionel Messi hits out at Eric Abidal on social media as Barcelona chief claims players pushed for Valverde sacking

LIONEL MESSI has sensationally blasted Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal on social media.

The skipper, 32, reacted angrily - and publicly - to his former team-mate's claims that some players downed tools under Ernesto Valverde.

Abidal claimed a large section of the dressing room were under-performing towards the end of the Spaniard's reign.

He told Sport: "A lot of players were not happy and did not work much and there was also a problem with internal communication.

"The relationship between the coach and dressing room was always good, but there are things that as an ex-player I can sense.

"I told the club what I thought and we had to make a decision."

Valverde was sacked last month and replaced with Quique Setien following a defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid.

He wrote on Instagram: "I honestly do not like to do this kind of thing but I think that everyone has to be responsible for their job and take responsibility for their decisions.

"Players are responsible for what happens on the field, we are also the first to acknowledge when we don't play well.

"Those in charge of sporting direction should also face up to their responsibilities and above all take charge of their own decisions.

"Lastly, I think that when you talk about players, you should give names because otherwise you are tainting everyone's name and feeding rumours that spread and are not true."

This Kobe Bryant vs Lionel Messi Turkish Airlines advert will forever be a classic

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