Lionel Messi frustrated with 'lack of support' at Barcelona, claims Dani Alves

Argentine forward made his feelings clear on Thursday when he said Barca were 'inconsistent and weak'

Brazilian full-back Dani Alves believes former teammate Lionel Messi is struggling with a "lack of support" at Barcelona.

Messi's frustration was clear on Thursday when Barca surrendered their league title to rivals Real Madrid after falling to a 2-1 home defeat to Osasuna, with the Argentine star criticising his team for being "inconsistent and weak".

It was the latest incident of public criticism from the club's captain and best player, who has previously taken aim at Barcelona for their transfer policy - most notably a failure to re-sign Neymar last summer - and their handling of the wage reduction process during the coronavirus lockdown.

Messi also publicly called out sporting director Eric Abidal after the Frenchman claimed the players had become unresponsive to the instructions of former manager Ernesto Valverde.

It has led to mounting speculation that Messi could leave the club, particularly after talks reportedly broke down over a new contract. The 33-year-old forward's existing deal is set to expire next year.

The current landscape is vastly different to when Alves was part of the Barca setup with Messi. During Alves' eight years at the Camp Nou, Barcelona won six La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys, three Champions League titles, and three Club World Cups.

"[Messi] is a born winner, he doesn't like to lose and it's normal to get angry," Alves, who left Barcelona in 2016 and has enjoyed successful spells at Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, told Catalunya Radio.

"He wants to win every time, like me. He's been doing it for so long that you can tell when your team is giving [that feeling] and when it's not.

"That's why he said it, he's been at Barcelona for many years and he's aware of what he needs to be able to win and aspire to great things.

"He sees what I feel and that's a lack of support.

"Messi was the main course, but we were the perfect ingredients [in the past]. He always wants to be on top and you need people to build that.

"The feeling now is that he always has to be doing everything for the team and he's only human."

Barcelona complete their league season with a trip to Alaves on Sunday. The Catalans will then host Serie A side Napoli in the second leg of the Champions League last 16 on August 8. The tie is poised at 1-1.

Published: July 19, 2020 03:54 PM


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