Barcelona have dismissed their head of institutional sporting relations, Pere Gratacos, for expressing his personal opinion on Lionel Messi. Euro sport reported.
Mr. Gratacos put forward the club’s record all time goal scorer and five time FIFA Balon d’Or winner as “over-rated” following Barcelona’s Copa del Rey round of 16 win against Athletic Bilbao during the week.
Lionel Messi scored a spectacular free-kick in the Catalans 3-1 win over Bilbao at Camp Nou to equal Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona free kick all time record.
Asked by a journalist about Messi’s role in both legs that put Barca through, Pere Gratacos said:
“It wasn’t just Leo. Leo is one of the most important players in the team, but Barcelona went through because of the whole team.
“Leo without Neymar, without Suarez, without Iniesta, without Pique, without the other players, would not be as good a player, although it is clear that he is the best player.”
The comments generated debate on social media that led to Gratacos’ sack following a released statement by the club.