Former Barcelona coach, Quique Setien, said that it was “difficult to manage” Lionel Messi during his short and unsuccessful spell at the club.
Setien took charge of Barca in January but was sacked in August following the team’s 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Before that humiliation, Messi publicly called Barca “weak” and “inconsistent”, with Real Madrid having already won La Liga.
“It is true that there are players that are not easy to manage, among them, Messi,” Setien told El Pais newspaper.
“It is difficult when someone is accustomed to winning.
“And inside him it generates an anxiety when you don’t achieve that win; it harms you. The demand that exists today in football is brutal, it has saturated him and others that need to permanently win.
“We also have to take into account that he is the best footballer of all time. How am I going to change him? There at Barca they have accepted him for who he is for many years and they haven’t changed him,” he said.
He added, “There is another facet beyond just the player and it is more difficult to manage. It is something inherent in many athletes that can be seen in the Michael Jordan documentary (The Last Dance). You see things you don’t expect.
“Messi is very reserved and only shows you the things that he wants you to see. He doesn’t speak much.”
In August, Messi announced his wish to leave Barca but the Argentina international made a U-turn when the Catalan giants demanded his €700 million buyout clause—making him tied to the club until June 2021.