• Hernan Crespo said Lionel Messi should have let a professional handle his negotiations with Barcelona
  • Crespo believes Messi's father, Jorge Messi, should take a step back
  • Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman is hoping Messi will still be at his best next season

Lionel Messi’s former Argentina teammate, Hernan Crespo, believes his father, Jorge Messi, shouldn’t play an active role in his situation with Barcelona and thinks they should have gone through a third party.

Following a dramatic exit saga, Messi has confirmed his decision to stay at Camp Nou. However, prior to his announcement, it had been revealed that his father was taking part in the negotiations for his exit from Barcelona and meeting with Barca bosses regarding his son's future — something Crespo doesn’t agree with.

In an exclusive interview with TyC Sports' “Libero,” Crespo weighed in on his former Argentina teammate’s current circumstances at Barca. According to the 45-year-old, “Leo” should have let a professional help him deal with his departure and asked his father to take a step back.

“He [Jorge] does not stop being the father but in that situation you [Lionel] need a professional next to you,” Crespo said. “I mean the forms. It is not the same when an agent speaks to you, who looks you in the eyes as a footballer.”

Prior to him making a U-turn and announcing his decision to stay, Messi appeared adamant about leaving Barcelona. However, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was forced to remain after being left with two choices – pay the €700 million ($829 million) clause to leave, which he immediately considered “impossible,” or go to court and face a legal battle with the club.

For Crespo, Messi could have possibly gotten what he wanted if he had hired a professional who can do the job.

“That's why you look for a professional to get you out of the sentimental and family issues,” he added. “I trust my relatives, but we are talking about leaders, contracts, the economy, numbers, new presidents and Messi. That is very high, I needed someone to manage at that height.”

Meanwhile, Barca’s new coach, Ronald Koeman, has already addressed Messi’s current situation with the team. As per the Dutch manager, despite all the drama outside the pitch, the Barcelona captain is still the best player in the world, and he is looking forward to seeing that again this coming season.

“He is the best, I have said it many times,” Koeman told BarcaTV+. “Messi is a very important player and he has shown it for many years. I hope he can do it again this season.”

Lionel Messi said he will stay at Barcelona but only because the club's president Josep Maria Bartomeu broke his word to let him leave
Lionel Messi said he will stay at Barcelona but only because the club's president Josep Maria Bartomeu broke his word to let him leave AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS