MADRID: Ronald Koeman saw Lionel Messi score his 650th goal for Barcelona and called on the club to fire anyone responsible for leaking the player’s contract details to the media.
“What was revealed was an intention to bring him down. Messi deserves to be respected.
“He contributed a lot to Spanish football. There are those who want to bring down Barcelona and Messi.
“If it is an insider’s crime, it is very unfortunate and they should not continue to be in this club,” Koeman said.
Yesterday, the Spanish media reported that Messi’s contract negotiations of close to 500 million pounds could destroy Barcelona.
Koeman said it did not affect the 33-year-old Argentine, he was even more enthusiastic against Athletic Bilbao, the club that beat Barca in the Spanish Super Cup final, where Messi was sent off.
“I do not understand how Messi can be linked to the destruction of Barcelona.
“For a long time he showed the quality that made this club great and won many trophies.
“He has been the best player in the world for a long time and now still plays an important role,” he said after a 2-1 win over Bilbao.