Messi criticism of Abidal won't affect Barca, says Setien
The usually introverted Messi caused a stir by criticising his former team mate Abidal
Barcelona will not be destabilised by a possible confrontation between talisman Lionel Messi and sporting director Eric Abidal, coach Quique Setien said on Wednesday.
The usually introverted Messi caused a stir by criticising his former team mate Abidal on Tuesday, saying in a post on Instagram that the club's hierarchy, not the players, should take responsibility for sacking Ernesto Valverde last month.
Abidal had told newspaper Sport that he had sensed that "many players weren't satisfied or working hard" under Valverde. Messi responded by saying Abidal should name which players he had in mind so as not to tarnish the image of the entire squad.
Messi's intervention dominated the front pages of Wednesday's sports newspapers: Sport said his reaction had caused a 'tsunami', Marca declared the Argentine had delivered 'a knockout blow', while AS headlined their edition 'FC Chaos'.
Setien said he had spoken to the players about the disagreement for around a minute and that they were only concerned about their upcoming matches, beginning with Thursday's Copa del Rey quarter-final tie at Athletic Bilbao.
"I will do everything to ensure this does not affect the team, all I'm interested in is tomorrow's game and the obligation to get through to the next round. I can't control anything else and won't waste my energy," he told reporters. "This situation doesn't affect me, all I can do is give the players the tools they need to make the most of their talent."
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