Lionel Messi reportedly has asked FC Barcelona to let go of their sporting director Eric Abidal ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Abidal and Messi played together for Barcelona for six years since 2007. They together won four La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies as they helped the Catalans rise in the ranks. During the final years of Abidal’s career, he was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2011 and a year later, Barcelona’s defender underwent a liver transplant. When the left-back was in the operation theater, Barcelona had a home game. The whole Nou Camp, including Messi and Co, and close to 90,000 spectators applauded for Abidal in support.

Two years after the major surgery, Abidal retired from professional soccer as an Olympiacos player, where he played for the final year of his decorated career.

A few years later, when Abidal was accused of an illegal liver transplant, Messi, went out of the way to back his former colleague. All was well between the two until Abidal returned to Nou Camp this time as a replacement for Roberto Fernandez as the club’s sporting director in 2018.

Since then, the former Lyon defender has been considered as the right-hand man of Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcelona’s current chief, who is considered to be corrupt and responsible for the downfall of the club in recent times. Bartomeu has been accused of internal politics and needless signings that have not helped Messi and Co in any way this season.

One of the worst accusations against the president was that Bartomeu had hired a few social media agencies to defame Messi and Co. The news was confirmed later on when six board members resigned from their respective posts after writing a joint letter disclosing that they were forced to deny that the president had not appointed hackers to defame the club.

Lionel Messi and Barcelona have been given permission to restart La Liga next month
Lionel Messi and Barcelona have been given permission to restart La Liga next month FC BARCELONA / Miguel Ruiz

Abidal had a fallout with Messi when he publicly criticized the Barca squad stating that the players slacked under the management of Ernesto Valverde and which is why the club was forced to sack the Spanish boss. The Barcelona skipper did not tolerate Abidal’s comment and as retaliation, he took to social media to slam his former teammate, whom he once considered to be his idol.

According to a recent report in Diaro GOL, a frustrated Messi has asked Barcelona to get rid of Abidal and Bartomeu. Ever since these internal issues have begun, several reports have emerged stating that Messi could leave Barcelona this season as he was fed up with the politics and corruption in the club. It was earlier reported that a clause in his current contract allows him to leave as a free agent at the end of the current season.