Barça’s legendary former player and coach has come out in defense of Lionel Messi, following criticism that has labelled the Argentine “disinterested.” The Dutchman labelled that criticism as ‘nonsense’ and said that Barça has gone for years without a coherent plan and ‘bad influences from outside the dressing room’ in an interview with Croatian daily Jutarnji List. Make the jump for a few choice excerpts.
“How can one say that Messi was disinterested (in the match against Atlético) while 10 days ago he was so interested in the clásico, being the best player on the pitch? Everything depended on him, for he scored three goals, led the team and played brilliantly. It is either one thing or another, but not both,” said Cruyff.
In addition, the architect of the Dream Team, considers that Messi, “against Atlético, Messi, who was supposedly disinterested, was Barcelona’s most dangerous player.”
According to the former coach, Barça is vulnerable because “In the last four or five years there have been catastrophic errors in the management of the club.” He added that “it’s not surprising that the team hasn’t got the continuity it used to have between 2006 and 2011, the period during which it won three Champions Leagues. There is absolutely no coherent plan, no firm rules.”
“In a stable environment, the team’s shape should be at its peak for the most important matches of the season, and this is something that isn’t happening here.” For Cruyff “this is all a result of the bad influences coming from outside the dressing room. That’s where all the problems are starting from.”