Barcelona has sacked Pere Gratacos from a Director’s role after his scathing comments regarding Argentine international Lionel Messi, because “he publicly expressed an individual judgment that did not coincide with the view of the club.
No doubts Messi inspired Barcelona to a 3-1 win over Athletico Bilbao to overturn their first leg deficit of 2-1 and proceed to the quarterfinal stage of Copa del Rey.
Pere Gratacos who was the director of education and training for the Catalans, overseeing the La Masia system which most famous players like Fabregas, Iniesta and Messi came through.
However, the director dismissal comes after hours of the statements during the Copa del Rey quarter-final draw where Barcelona was matched with Real Sociedad when asked about Messi’s performances and importance after the team win against Athletico Bilbao.
Lionel Messi decisive free-kick against Athletico Bilbao
Pere Gratacos said:
“Barcelona are not here only because of Messi.”He’s very important but it was the team who won [against Athletic Bilbao in the last 16]. Without Neymar, Luis Suarez, Iniesta, Pique and the others, he wouldn’t be such a good player.”
According to the Spanish website Sport. “He’s the best, this is true.
Meanwhile, Gratacos has paid heavily for his comments when only he is trying to put balances to the team’s effort, but failed to realise how sensitive the comments were, the statement comes awfully at a time Barcelona are willing to keep Messi at the club on an extended contract, with his current contract set to expire in 2018 and Messi looking out for an improved deal.
The club said in a statement, “FC Barcelona have dismissed Pere Gratacós as head of institutional sporting relations with the Royal Spanish Football Federation for having publicly expressed a personal opinion that does not match that of the club after the draw for the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey held today in Madrid.