Barto not seeking ‘conflict’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 21, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, September 21, 2020

Barto not seeking ‘conflict’

An early strike from Antoine Griezmann gave Barcelona a 1-0 win at home to Elche their final pre-season friendly on Saturday, with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu saying afterwards that he did not want 'any conflict' with Lionel Messi.

The Argentine played a defence-splitting ball to Jordi Alba in the second minute, whose cut-back found an unmarked Griezmann..

"I won't get into any conflict with him [Messi]. He's our captain and leader," Bartomeu said. "I couldn't let him leave the club, he is the best player of all time and the team needs him. Having Messi is a guarantee of success."

"We have seen him do his talking on the pitch and we have moved on from the saga," Bartomeu added. "We should congratulate ourselves for getting Messi to stay with us and for how he has behaved in the last few days. The best player in the world should stay at our home."

Koeman surprisingly left home-grown midfielder Riqui Puig out of the squad, saying after the game that he would prefer the player to go out on loan as he would not get many chances this season.

Bartomeu also ruled out resigning, despite a vote of no-confidence against him looming.

"The board and I will keep working to ensure we have the most competitive team possible," he said. "We will speak again after validating the votes but right now no-one wants to quit. The club won't stop and we will keep working, we have lots of issues to sort out."

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