John Toshack has said that it’s unfair to point the finger at Lionel Messi for the trouble at Barcelona this season.
The former Liverpool striker has spoken to La Xarxa, with his comments published by Mundo Deportivo.
In the interview Toshack discussed his fellow Welshman Gareth Bale and his first season at Real Madrid.
Toshack also touched on the situation at Barcelona and called for the critics to lay off the Argentine.
“It’s cruel to blame Messi. You can’t put the blame on him. Messi’s at a high level but more is always expected from him,” Toshack said.
“Neymar is a player at Bale’s level but all the problems off the field haven’t helped anything.
“Everyone was talking about Barca being the best team in history and they were one of the best of all time, but you have to renew before it’s too late.
“Fix the roof before the water comes in. Don’t expect to be able to fix the roof when the water’s already coming in.
“Everything that has happened at Barca is taking its toll.
“The Coach knows best but I really like Pedro and Alexis Sanchez. They’re goal scorers, especially Pedro.
“And with injuries to Victor Valdes, Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol, Tata Martino has had no luck.
“I don’t like Javier Mascherano as a centre-back. It’s a very important area of the pitch.
“Barca have a job on this summer. They have to sign a centre-back.”