What next for Lionel Messi after the Instagram post that rocked Barcelona?

Following Lionel Messi’s public war of words with sporting director and former teammate Eric Abidal, club president Josep Bartomeu requested an emergency meeting with the pair on Wednesday evening.
Messi was incensed by Abidal’s accusation that players had downed tools to get former manager Ernesto Valverde sacked. His response? To name the players or be quiet.

According the reports in Spain, the Argentine has a clause in his contract — which runs out in 2021 — that allows him to leave Barcelona for free this summer, as long as he informs the club by May.

So rarely does the 32-year-old air his grievances in public; it felt as though Abidal’s comments were the straw that broke the camel’s back.

For years, Messi, regarded by many as the greatest of all time, has been the glue that has held a crumbling Barcelona together — both on the pitch and in the boardroom.
Lionel Messi and Eric Abidal were teammates at Barcelona.

His consistent, match-winning moments of genius have papered over cracks that have been steadily deepening for several seasons.

On the pitch, around a billion dollars has been spent since Neymar’s shock departure to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 and several big-money, high-profile signings have failed to make a mark.

Antoine Griezmann is the latest in a growing list that includes the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Malcom to have underperformed after joining with much fanfare.

The president and the board have also been widely…

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