'Things they have said have not been fair' - Moriba claims Barcelona told lies in press prior to RB Leipzig transfer

Ilaix Moriba Barcelona 2020-21Getty Images

Ilaix Moriba has slammed Barcelona, claiming they were telling lies in the press prior to his transfer to RB Leipzig.

Moriba graduated to Barca's senior squad in January after 11 years in the club's academy ranks, but ultimately decided against extending his contract at Camp Nou.

The Blaugrana chose to sell the 18-year-old on deadline day instead of letting him leave for nothing next year with Leipzig snapping him up for an initial €16 million (£13m/$19m) fee, and he is relieved to have moved on after being targeted with hateful messages from supporters.

What has been said?

Barca president Joan Laporta indicated that Moriba had failed to compromise in negotiations over a renewal during a press conference earlier this summer, telling reporters: “We do not want players who do not want to renew, it leaves a very bad taste.”

Moriba was subsequently exiled from the Blaugrana squad and their B team, but has come out to defend himself in his first interview as an RB Leipzig player.

"The last few months have been the hardest of my life, we [my family] have received abusive messages but we have been able to get over it to be here today," said the teenage midfielder. "I don't deserve these messages.

"They [people at the club] have said many things that are not true and we have had to keep tight-lipped because of the respect that we have for Barcelona. The things that they have said in the press have not been fair."

Moriba went on to insist he bears no ill-feeling towards Barca despite the acrimonious nature of his departure before wishing Ansu Fati well after inheriting Lionel Messi's No.10 shirt.

"I have improved at Barcelona with the support of the fans, but over the past few months they have not known how to behave," he said. "I am not going to judge the whole fanbase based on these few people.

"I will always have Barcelona in my heart, it has been a complicated few months, but it has passed and I wish the best for the club, especially to Ansu, as I have seen that they have given him the No 10 shirt and he's the most suitable one to wear it, I wish him the best."

Moriba on Messi

Moriba also admitted that it was a "dream" for him to have played alongside Messi, who joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in August after being told that he couldn't re-sign for Barca due to their over-inflated wage bill.

Leipzig's newest signing warned that their friendship will go out of the window if they meet again in European competition, adding: "It is any child's dream to play with Messi, what he has done is incredible. The best thing was that he is such a good person, he tries to help young players.

"When we play each other, we will shake hands, but when the game starts there is no more friendship, we will defend our clubs and I will give everything for Leipzig."

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