Lionel Messi has been “cheated and ignored” by Barcelona and should still be granted his wish to leave, according to former Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi announced on September 4 that he was staying at the Camp Nou after Barcelona made it “impossible” for him to leave with his demands.
Barca questioned that the 33-year-old could still take an alternative in his contract that would have allowed him to leave for free, which means that all suitors had to pay his release clause of 700 million euros or negotiate a fee.
He will now stay in Catalonia for another season, but Jemez has suggested that it might have worked better if the Argentine international had moved on.
“It’s great news that Messi remains in Spanish football and Barca will think the same, but I would not be so happy because Messi has not been comfortable,” he said on the YouTube channel Idolos.
“Messi has stayed because they forced him.
“If what he says is true, Messi has been deceived and ignored. That is not good. If I were Barca’s president, I would do anything to get Messi to leave. Because if not, this situation will break down.”
Jemez has sympathy for the recently appointed Barca boss Ronald Koeman and insisted that the issue will not go away now that Messi has committed to stay.
“Letting go of Messi is also very difficult. I understand that too. What I’m clear about, at least as a coach, is that I would not want Messi unhappy,” he said.
“Koeman has a significant ‘dead man’. It often happens to us coaches, to find yourself with a problem that other people have generated. You get there and it turns out that the one who has to fix it is you.
“The problem will not be solved just because Messi stays in Barcelona. There will come a time when there is so much hostility that it is practically impossible to redirect things.”