Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman pans Catalan media for Lionel Messi contract leak

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Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou in Barcelona on Sunday night.

Lionel Messi was at his lethal best on Sunday night when the Barcelona striker scored a mesmerising free-kick goal in 2-1 victory over Athletic Club at the Camp Nou.

The victory propelled Barca to second in the points table, and crucially ahead of their arch-rivals Real Madrid on goal difference.

However, the centre of attraction remained the Catalan daily El Mundo report that revealed Messi’s contract is worth €555m at a time when the club is on the verge of bankruptcy.

The Spanish giants already released a press statement earlier on Sunday; making clear of their and Messi’s intent to drag the newspaper to the court.

Club’s coach Ronald Koeman made his feeling apparent on the issue in strong words saying whoever leaked the contract only wants no good of Barcelona.

“I don’t understand how anyone could link Messi to Barca’s ruin. He has spent years proving his quality and doing great things for this club, helping it win many important trophies,” Koeman told a news conference.

“Whoever published this had bad intentions and wanted to cause Barca damage. But we have to be united and focused, we have to forget about whatever has been published. Without Leo we couldn’t aspire to win very much.

“We have known for a very long time that he is the best player in the world, he has done so much for this club and is decisive. We have to respect everything Messi has done.”

“If this was someone from the club they cannot have a future here,” he added.

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