Barcelona sack director following Lionel Messi comments

Barcelona have confirmed that they have sacked director Pere Gratacos following his comments on star player Lionel Messi.

Gratacos had said to reporters after the Copa del Rey draw that Messi would not be as good as he is currently without the support of some of his team-mates.

“Leo is one of the most important people in the team, but it’s not just about him,

“He would not be as good without [Andres] Iniesta, Neymar and company, but Messi is the best.”

The comments sparked debate on social media and a few hours later Barcelona released a statement confirming that he had been sacked.

“FC Barcelona have dismissed Pere Gratacos 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,” the Catalan club said in a statement:

“The decision has been taken by Albert Soler, director of professional sports, who will assume these functions directly from now on.”

His role was originally as the head of communications to the Spanish football federation.

However Gratacos, 58, will still be involved in the La Masia 360 the club.

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