Former FC Barcelona head coach Quique Setien claimed that superstar Lionel Messi is difficult to manage.

Setien was appointed as the FC Barcelona head coach in 2020 after the departure of Ernesto Valverde. Setien’s time at FC Barcelona did not last long after the club dismissed him after a poor season. Setien was later replaced by Dutch coach and former FC Barcelona defender Ronald Koeman. 

Reflecting on his time at FC Barcelona with El Pais newspaper, Setien claimed that “it’s true that there are players that are not easy to manage, among them, Leo. We also have to take into account that he is the best footballer of all time. How am I going to change him? If there (at Barca) they have accepted him for who he is for many years and they haven’t changed him.”

Setien also claimed that Messi “is very reserved and only shows you the things that he wants you to see. He doesn’t speak much.”


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Current coach Koeman disagreed with Setien’s claims about Messi and said, “For me Leo is the best in the world. I see his ambition and winning character every day. He’s not a player who struggles, he’s the captain, and every week I talk to him about things on the field, from the locker room to have a good relationship. I don’t agree, but I respect what he’s been through.”

FC Barcelona endured a difficult season under Setien. The club failed to win the 2019-2020 La Liga and suffered a harsh defeat against FC Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League.

Messi’s situation at the club was also complicated. The player wanted to leave, but the club blocked his departure.

Setien’s comments about Messi show how sometimes it’s hard to deal with superstar players. Messi’s legendary status can possibly make him intimidating to deal with. 


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