Not FC Barcelonas victory at Athletic Club (2-1), Sunday, was the talk of the day in Spain, but the leaked contract of star player Lionel Messi. Also trainer Ronald Koeman was asked about it in the press conference after the match. “If someone from the club has decided to leak the information, I dont think that person has a future here.”
The Spanish newspaper El Mundo published all the details of the billion-dollar contract of the 33-year-old Argentine. Messi would earn more than 555 million euros in four years. Barcelona denied in a statement that the contract would have been leaked from the club and announced legal action, but at the press conference coach Koeman went into the possibility that the information was sent to the newspaper through someone inside the club.
“ If you are part of this club, you have to help not only the club, but also the managers and the players”, Koeman was clear. “What has now happened in the press has happened with a very bad intention and is aimed at hurting a player for whom we need a great deal of respect. A player who has given a lot to Spanish football and to this club.”
After the match, the Dutch trainer spoke praise about the Argentine, who made the opening goal against Athletic Club and, according to Koeman, copes well with the fuss. “Even today, he has shown that he is a winner, a pure winner. He knows how to focus on football like no other. There is no doubt that he is very important to us.”
The reason for the leakage of Messis contract is still guessing. “I dont understand”, says Koeman, who believes that there should not only be attention to what a player deserves. “You have to look at what Messi has done for this club. He has not only shown his football skills here, but also helped to make this club even bigger. He helped win titles, and thats the most important thing.”
Koeman is not the only one who is recording for Messi, told Edwin Stores Sunday night at Studio Football.
Koeman himself now tries to concentrate mainly on football. “We have to try to figure out how it is possible that this got into the press, but I, as a trainer, and the players, have to think about our work, namely winning matches. We are working on a good series and should not lose concentration.”
Barcelona now occupies second place in La Liga. The Catalans are lagging behind ten points at the top runner Atlético Madrid.