Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta has spoken of his time at Barcelona and claimed training sessions there were brutal.
The Brazilian was a member of the first team for six years until 2007 and in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport told of the intensity of the sessions alongside such youngsters as Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.
“Training there was a war,” said the veteran 35-year-old midfielder. “I remember once when I tackled Messi and his dad yelled at me. He said I had hit him too hard, but it was the only way to stop him.
“I’d touch the ball and they would all shout at me to pass it to them. The tackles were sometimes very rough but Carles Puyol told me to do the same, so after that I didn’t have any problems and gained more respect.”
Motta claimed not all his issues were out on the pitch and gave an insight into what it was like when Louis van Gaal was in charge in the 2002-03 season.
“It wasn’t easy for me and I would make calls to Brazil from a booth while Victor Valdes talked on his mobile in the room. He didn’t let me sleep,” he recollected.
“Van Gaal was very tough too and if you didn’t tuck your shirt in he wouldn’t even let you train. That was the year Iniesta made it into the first team. He was amazing and even at just 14 years old wasn’t afraid of anyone.”