Lionel Messi tried to persuade Luis Enrique to stay at Barcelona

Barcelona have been on a steady decline more or less since they won the Champions League in 2015, although with peaks and troughs. Now they are trying to rectify that trend, but so far nobody has lived up to Ernesto Valverde or Luis Enrique Martinez.

The latter left after three spectacular seasons at Camp Nou, winning the treble in his first season, the double in his second and still managing the Copa del Rey in his final year.

It was Luis Enrique that took the decision to leave the club at the end of that season. Speaking to Universo Valdano, in an interview carried by MD, star player Lionel Messi has revealed that they tried to persuade the Asturian to stay.

“I came back from Argentina after the holidays and we played on January the 2nd or 3rd, I don’t remember exactly, and I ended up going to the bank and we had an argument that lasted a ‘little time’… but then we had a spectacular relationship right until the end, when he decided to leave and we told him to stay, not to go, that we were fine.”

Messi is referring to a well-reported conflict between himself and Lionel Messi, who disagreed over where he should be playing. After the argument, Messi moved to the right side of attack and Luis Suarez switched into the centre. Once that issue was solved, Barcelona blew away almost all comers for the next 18 months.

Luis Enrique is famously strong-willed though, and it is likely that even Messi knew that he had little influence in the matter. Luis Enrique would take a break for a year until taking the reigns of the national team in 2018. Messi’s comments come shortly after Jordi Alba made a bold claim about Luis Enrique, the left-back also being a key part of his Barcelona and Spain side.

Tags Barcelona Lionel Messi Luis Enrique Spain La Roja
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