Abidal has checked some elements of his work in ‘Can Barça’ from the scientific secretariat in comments to ‘The Telegraph.’ And he has talked about Neymar, who was on the verge of returning to Camp Nou.
“I went to Paris ten days before the transition time expired to speak with Leonardo” (PSG sports director). I believe we should have re-signed Neymar if we hadn’t signed Griezmann earlier. “We wanted an assassin, and when Neymar was in Barcelona, he was fantastic,” Abidal said.
He emphasized that the Brazilian’s job was “important at the time”: “The team wanted a real winger.” Griezmann was signed by the chancellor. One of the criticisms leveled at Neymar is that he was involved in a legal battle with the club. They informed him that if he wished to return, he would have to halt the legal proceedings. That wasn’t my concern because I wasn’t at the club at the time of the argument. In my view, should have signed the athlete, but this did not occur.
Concerning Messi, he attempted to defuse the tension surrounding his comments in which he blamed the Barcelona dressing room for a lack of intensity. “The squad, in my experience, ought to train more. During my period with Guardiola, the question was still, “Do you want the best? Okay, you must train like a champion. You can only win it all if you practice through the week. “I just said this, never that the players tried to fire the coach,” he explained.
He also announced that he talked with Messi “personally.” “We had a heated discussion, however, I can understand it. It’s not a challenge because you have to be open and honest. I was at ease because he was the only player who talked to me in that manner. That is everything I admire. I realize Messi is the captain, and I had to protect the team, but I never said Messi would have ordered me to fire the coach. Never“, it was decided.
Abidal also spoke openly of his partnership with Bartomeu and the moment when Valverde’s contract was extended amid widespread opposition. “In December 2018, after a thorough examination of the manager, the squad, and the board, I suggested that we replace Ernesto Valverde, telling the president, ‘I believe this is the choice to make right now.’ And he replied, ‘No, it’s not easy.’ “I decided to extend the coach’s contract two months later, which was the polar opposite of what I had suggested,” he emphasized.