Bartomeu refuses to enter in conflict with Barcelona captain Messi

The Barça president is happy that Messi remained at the club after trying to leave

A base de golazos: así fue el doblete de Messi al Girona | FCB

The story of the summer was Lionel Messi's push to leave Barcelona. In the end, the forward ended up staying, backing down when he realised a legal battle against the club was the only way he could attempt to leave. 

Jordi Delgado

@jdelga12

However, upon announcing his decision, he was critical of the club and especially of the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, who he accused of not keeping his word. Messi believed he could leave for free. 

"I won't enter into a conflict with him," Bartomeu told TV3 on Saturday. "He's the captain and leader of the team. We've seen him doing his talking on the pitch and the issue has been parked. I couldn't let him leave the club. He's the best ever and the team needs him. Having Messi guarantees success." 

Pressed on Messi's criticism, he added:  "I won't enter into a dispute with the captain. They're things to speak about behind closed doors. We have to be happy that he's with us and with how he's been over the last few days. The best players in the world should be here."  

Meanwhile, Luis Suarez has not featured in any of Barcelona's three friendlies this summer but, with the league due to start next weekend, he's yet to find a new club. 

"He's still our player and I can't say anything else at the moment," Bartomeu said on Suarez. "He has a contract." 

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