Barcelona have sacked director Pere Gratacos following comments he made about Lionel Messi.
Gratacos, the director of training and education at Camp Nou and a key figure in the running of the famous La Masia youth system, suggested on Friday that Messi would not be the same player without his stellar team-mates’ support.
“Barcelona are not here only because of Messi,” he said at the draw for the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.
“He’s very important but it was the team who won [against Athletic Bilbao in the last 16]. Without Neymar, Luis Suarez, [Andres] Iniesta, [Gerard] Pique and the others, he wouldn’t be such a good player.”
Barca have taken swift action following those remarks, which they stress “do not coincide with those of the club”.