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Reports: Lionel Messi holds talks with Ronald Koeman over Barcelona captaincy

Ronald Koeman has a big decision to make over the Barcelona captaincy
Ronald Koeman has a big decision to make over the Barcelona captaincy
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 09 Sep 2020, 21:12 IST
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Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is said to have held talks with head coach Ronald Koeman, and has assured the Dutchman that he remains fully committed to the club.

Last week, Messi put an end to all the speculation surrounding his departure from Barcelona, saying that he would stay at the club at least until the end of his contract in 2021.

According to Cuatro in Spain, via the Daily Mail, Koeman's next move will have to be to decide who wears the armband at Barcelona, when they start the new season on September 27.

The most obvious and conflict-free would be for Messi to retain the captaincy, and Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto remaining part of the leadership group.

But it is being reported that there is a possibility of Messi stepping down from the role on his own, with the intention of not having to interact with the board in his capacity as captain.

In an interview to Goal where he announced that he would stay at Barcelona, Messi was critical of the Barcelona board under president Josep Maria Bartomeu, calling it one without a plan and a direction. Messi also termed the board under Bartomeu a disaster.


Koeman's Barcelona captaincy conundrum

Lionel Messi finally arrived for Barcelona training after putting an end to his contract saga
Lionel Messi finally arrived for Barcelona training after putting an end to his contract saga

With the Messi contract saga already causing shockwaves at Barcelona, Koeman is likely to want to avoid any more distractions as he builds his side towards the new season.

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With that in mind, it is thought that Koeman will not take any drastic decisions such as stripping Messi off the armband.

According to the report from Cuatro, Barcelona are set to imminently negotiate wage cuts with their players, with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting club finances all around the world.

Barcelona have estimated losses of up to €100m from last season, and with fans still not allowed in stadiums for the start of the new season, the losses are sure to mount.

In such a scenario, the club captain would be the direct link between the players and the board, and would have to play a fronting role in interacting with the board.

After his not-so-kind comments about them last week, it remains to be seen if Messi would still want to have a relationship with the Barcelona board, especially with the issue involving the entire squad.

Published 09 Sep 2020, 21:12 IST
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