FC Barcelona Head Coach Ronald Koeman has urged the club’s chiefs to relive the person behinds the leak of Messi’s contract of his job.
It was like a bombshell on Sunday when Spanish newspaper El Mundo published that Messi’s four-year contract, signed in 2017, was the most expensive ever given to any sportsman, and categorically stated it has “ruined” Barcelona.
El Mundo reported the five time world footballer of the year’s deal is worth €555m (£492m) and includes fixed incomes and extras that could rise up to €138m (£122m) per year.
Barcelona have come out to debunk the leak came from the club’s board and have threatened to take legal action against El Mundo.
Despite the off field issue, Messi scored his 650th goal for Barcelona inspiring then to a 2-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Post match Koeman said: “I don’t understand how anyone could link Messi to Barca’s ruin.
“He has spent years proving his quality and doing great things for this club, helping it win many important trophies.
“Whoever published this had bad intentions and wanted to cause Barca damage. But we have to be united and focused, we have to forget about whatever has been published.
“Without Leo we couldn’t aspire to win very much. We have known for a very long time that he is the best player in the world, he has done so much for this club and is decisive. We have to respect everything Messi has done.
“If this was someone from the club they cannot have a future here.”
The Barcelona hierarchy also revealed a statement saying the leak wasn’t from their end and will take legal action against El Mundo for any damages..
“FC Barcelona expresses its absolute support for Lionel Messi, especially in the face of any attempt to discredit his image, and to damage his relationship with the entity where he has worked to become the best player in the world and in football history.”