Barcelona has punished a club official as a result of expressing a personal of opinion that contradicts that of the club’s forward Lionel Messi, reports The Guardian.
A 5-letter sentence was enough to see Pere Gratacos lose his main position at the club. He said “it was not only Messi” who assisted them to go through a Copa del Rey tie with Athletic Bilbao.
Wednesday was a dramatic day for Barcelona as they managed to bag in 4 – 3 aggregate which saw them reach the quarter finals. The victory was hugely attributed to Messi’s 78th minute goal free-kick.
Gratacos said: “Messi wouldn’t be as good without Andres Iniesta or Neymar,” reports BBC Sports.
The official said that Leo is an amazing player and pillar of the team. However, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique and the whole team “got us through.”
Barca released a statement on Friday announcing the replacement of Gratacos as head of sporting relations with the Spanish Football Federation. He still remains part of the club but has been posted into the youth academy.
“FC Barcelona have dismissed Pere Gratacós as head of institutional sporting relations with the Royal Spanish Football Federation for having publicly expressed a personal opinion that does not match that of the club after the draw for the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey held today in Madrid,” read the club’s statement.
His comments came out after the draw in which Barca will play Real Sociedad in the last eight of the Spanish Cup
Messi’s deal with Barcelona will Barcelona will expire in 2018 and is yet to sign a new contract. This could be seen as a way of softening the player’s heart and getting him to extend his stay at the club.
Via The Guardian
Many fans expect that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will still continue to play for the club, considering he has been part of them since the age of 13. Josep Bartomeu, the club’s president said in a November interview that he had no doubt Messi would play for Barca till he ends his career.