Lionel Messi could be on a collision course with Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, after the manager made it clear to Gerard Pique that his form would have to improve, or he would risk being dropped from the team.
Pique and Messi are close friends on and off the field, and on the back of Valverde making it clear he was not keen on another one of Messi’s allies, Javier Mascherano, Don Balon report there could be some discomfort in the Barca camp.
One thing Messi will be pleased with so far this season is his on the field performances, with the loss of Neymar and the arrival of Paulinho looking like a real boost for the star, who is showing La Liga just what he is capable of – not that they will have forgotten.
Messi said at the start of the summer: “Whenever a new season starts, it [has] to be better than the last.
“We play to achieve more, we play to get more titles, to be in the finals of [the] Champions [League], to win La Liga.
“It didn’t happen this year. We tried, but it didn’t happen. We ended it with La Copa. We hope that the year to come is better in the aspect of titles.
“No, I have always said it — and [Ronaldo] from his part — that he is armed with the presence of us both.
“We try to achieve the best every year for our team, and what is said outside of that I don’t think is very important. He is a phenomenal player with a lot of quality. All the world knows, and that is why he is one of the best of the world.”