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‘Messi is only human and lacks support at Barcelona’ – Dani Alves feels for frustrated superstar

14:12 BST 18/07/2020
Messi Barcelona 2020
A former Camp Nou colleague of the mercurial Argentine says a “natural winner” is allowed to be “angry” at current events in Catalunya

Lionel Messi is growing “angry” at Barcelona because he is “only human” and lacks the support required to deliver on expectation, says Dani Alves.

The mercurial Argentine has taken to airing his frustration on a regular basis in what has been a testing campaign for all concerned at Camp Nou in 2019-20.

Arch-rivals Real Madrid have snatched the Liga title away from Barca, with Champions League glory all that the Blaugrana have left to aim at.

Messi fears that further heartache will be endured there unless collective improvement is overseen in Catalunya, with alarming regression endured since the turn of the year.

Concerns regarding on and off the field activity has sparked talk of a talismanic figure seeking a move elsewhere, with contract talks said to have been shelved by Barca’s superstar skipper.

Alves can appreciate why such speculation has surfaced, with it clear that a “natural winner” is not happy with the backing he is getting from those around him as he seeks to maintain the standards that have delivered him six Ballons d’Or and countless major honours.

Brazil international Alves, who spent eight years at Camp Nou between 2008 and 2016, told Catalunya Radio’s ‘Tot Gira’: “Leo is a natural winner. He doesn't like losing.

“When the team loses, it’s normal he gets angry, he always wants to win. Just like me. We always want to win.

“He's been doing what he does for so long, he knows when a team gives one thing and when it gives another. That's why he says what works and what doesn't because he knows.

“He's spent so many years at Barca, experienced so many things, and he knows exactly what the team needs to win.

“He sees, what I feel, a lack of support.

“I'll always say that Messi is the main course and we were the perfect ingredients for that plate. Now I have the feeling that he's doing everything, all the time, and we must remember he's only human.”

Barca took the decision to part with Ernesto Valverde in January, a coach who had delivered back-to-back title triumphs, and replace him with Quique Setien.

That call is considered to have backfired, with Alves admitting that the Blaugrana appear to lack direction and leadership at present.

He added: “What this Barca lacks is the identity it has always had, like Ronaldinho's Barca, our Barca.

“The identity of a team that dominates for 90 minutes, 100 minutes, or 150 minutes. Barca are there for people to enjoy.

“Now what I see, from the outside, is that Barca are just another team. They used to have an understanding throughout the team and made things look easy.”