LIONEL Messi is very very good at keepie-uppies, even with a bog roll.
Shortly after the pandemic sent him and the Barca squad home early, he accepted a “pass” from former team-mate Xavi, juggled it a bit then booted it on to pals Luiz Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Jordi Alba, as well as Argentina’s Sergio Aguero.
Messi’s anger at Barcelona’s top brass could see the likes of Puyol and Xavi return to save the day
He should have passed it to the Barca boardroom too… the suits in there might be needing that loo roll for the purpose it was originally intended.
Messi – Barca’s best-ever player, their skipper, their talisman – can leave for free this summer if he so chooses, and he’s p***ed off. Mightily p***ed off.
Barca’s first team squad agreed to a 70 per cent pay reduction during Spain’s coronavirus state of emergency and vowed to go further to ensure club staff receive 100 per cent of their pay.
Behind the scenes though, the club’s boss class have fumbled and bumbled and dropped the bog roll – needlessly provoking the proverbial brown storm by insinuating through media leaks that the players had been holding out.
How could Messi possibly be trying to hold on to his £116million or so annual salary in such dark times?
Well, he wasn’t. And for a man of so few words, at least in public, Messi exploded.
On Monday he posted a written statement on behalf of the first-team to his 160million followers on Instagram.
TROUBLE IN PARADISE
It read: “First of all, we would like to clarify that we have always been willing to apply a wage cut, because we understand perfectly that this is an exceptional situation and we are always the first to help the club when we have been asked to.
“Indeed, we have often done so on our own initiative in those moments in which we have considered it important or necessary.
“For that reason, we cannot help but be surprised by the fact that from within the club there are those trying to put us under the microscope or apply pressure for us to do something that we have always been clear that we would do.
“In fact, if an agreement has taken a few days to be reached it is simply because we were seeking a formula to help the club and also to help its employees in these very difficult times.
“If we did not speak publicly before, it was because our priority was to find real solutions that could truly help the club and also those who are going to be most affected by this situation.”
Even before this latest balls-up by the Barca bureaucrats, Messi was already a bit peeved to say the least.