Former Barcelona assistant manager Eder Sarabia has spoken out on Lionel Messi’s controversial decision to submit a transfer request ahead of the 2020-21 season.
Messi, 34, is the club’s top player with 777 appearances, 672 goals and 302 assists. He won four Champions League and ten La Liga titles during his time at the Camp Nou before leaving the club on a free transfer last summer.
Messi joined Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain but hasn’t quite repeated his Blaugrana exploits, scoring just 11 goals in all competitions. However, before that move came to fruition, the striker had submitted a transfer request in 2020.
Sarabia was Quique Setien’s assistant throughout the 2020 season and had reported problems with many veteran Barcelona players including Messi. However, he heaped praise on the Argentina striker, telling RAC1 (via Football Espana):
“He’s the best player in history. Not only the performance of the best player, but also the understanding.”
Messi made the shock decision to submit a transfer request in 2020 after Barcelona’s embarrassing 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Sarabia defended the 34-year-old for that, saying:
“If, with everything he gave to this club, he could see that the entity might not have been up to the task, it might have created an imbalance.”
The former Blaugrana assistant believes Messi has shouldered the burden for the club’s troubles and said:
“He had this concern, the disappointment … with things that seemed like they were going in one direction and then they weren’t. Surely that’s why he made the decision to leave the club (during the transfer request incident). It affected his luck, and that could have broken him. It was definitely not what Barca and he wanted.”
Can Lionel Messi reach the same heights with Paris Saint-Germain that made him a Barcelona legend?
It has been a difficult debut season at the Parc des Princes for Lionel Messi following his blockbuster move last summer.
He has been criticized for a string of lackluster performances and has failed to show his legendary prowess in Paris. After the teams’ defeat to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, he was unceremoniously booed by some PSG fans.
The 34-year-old ended the season as Ligue 1 champions with 34 appearances, 11 goals and 14 assists. PSG fans will be hoping the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will reach greater heights next season and inspire them for the elusive UEFA Champions League.
https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/news-it-definitely-wasn-t-barca-wished-for-former-barcelona-assistant-manager-eder-sarabia-lionel-messi-s-decision-leave-club-ahead-2020-21-season?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda “It definitely wasn’t what Barca nor he wished for”