MESSİ-BARCA DRAMA CLEAR BEFORE UCL THRASHİNG – BOATENG



Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng says he could see problems between Lionel Messi and Barcelona even before their stunning Champions League quarter-final victory.

Barca suffered one of the worst defeats in their entire history at the hands of Bayern in Europe last season. Hansi Flick’s men knocked them out of the Champions League at the last eight stage, winning 8-2 in a one-off knockout tie in Lisbon.

The humiliating result cost Quique Setien his job, and compounded a miserable campaign for Barca which saw them fail to win a trophy for the first time since 2007-08.

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Ex-Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has been brought in to oversee a squad rebuild, with wholesale personnel changes expected ahead of the new season. One unexpected name on the list of potential outgoings at Camp Nou is Messi, who submitted a formal transfer request last week.

The Argentine has been vocal on Barca’s failings in Europe in recent years, and was also critical of the team’s level following their La Liga defeat to arch-rivals Real Madrid in July.

The loss to Bayern pushed Messi to his limit, with the 33-year-old now seeking to activate the release clause in his contract which allows him to leave on a free transfer.

Boateng insists he could see that the Barca superstar’s patience was wearing thin before coming up against him in the Champions League, which Bayern went on to win by beating Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain. “You noticed in advance that there was drama between Messi and Barcelona,” the German defender told Bild.

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Messi has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, where his former mentor Pep Guardiola is currently plying his trade, and Boateng can see a final deal coming to fruition due to their past relationship.

The Bayern defender, who spent the 2010-11 season at City, added: “Pep and Messi have celebrated great successes together, which is why both sides know that their philosophies would fit together.”

Boateng’s position at Bayern has also been the subject of speculation in recent weeks, with his current contract set to expire next summer.

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The 31-year-old admits that he has not yet been offered the chance to extend his stay at Allianz Arena, but he would like to remain a part of Hansi Flick’s squad for the foreseeable future.

“There have not yet been any talks beyond my contract, but it is clear to me that I will be happy to continue the path under Hansi Flick,” he said. “My family and I feel very much at home in Munich. I am sure that we can achieve a lot with this team again next year. I want to be part of it again.”

Pressed on his relationship with Flick at Bayern, Boateng responded: “He’s absolutely clear on a human level, he doesn’t fool you, but he also demands something for it. He supported me, but also challenged me.”

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MESSİ-BARCA DRAMA CLEAR BEFORE UCL THRASHİNG – BOATENG


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