Spain boss Luis Enrique admits there was a ‘time of tension’ between him and Lionel Messi when he coached the Argentine star at Barcelona.
Enrique managed the club between 2014 and 2017, winning nine trophies including two league titles and the 2015 Champions League crown.
“There was a time of tension between us, which needed to be managed,” Enrique told Catalunya Radio, in quotes carried by Diario AS.
“That was not something that I wanted or had pre-empted but we needed to manage it at the time, and now I cannot say anything not good about Messi!
“My exit? I had already told the club to begin their search for the replacement at the start of that season (2016/17) because I knew I would not have any more energy for the role.
“It was a special group of players and for me it would have been the easy route for me to continue, to work with such quality players.
“It would have given me a lot of money, I would have the opportunity to win a lot of trophies, unparalleled in world football, but I did not go for this.
“Maybe the players needed a new face, a new vision and a new message.”