Barcelona hero Rivaldo has defended Lionel Messi’s spat with Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal.

Abidal criticized Barcelona players’ work ethics and the club captain took to social media to lambast Abidal after the Frenchman claimed the players were keen to see former coach Ernesto Valverde removed.

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Rivaldo wrote for Betfair: “The reaction of Leo Messi last Wednesday in which he criticized Eric Abidal through his social networks, seems normal to me.

Messi has every right to be angry with Abidal over the way he complained about the professionalism of some players in training, especially when he didn’t mention any specific names. This put the whole team in question.

“It is difficult to talk about this situation from the outside, but Messi just tried to defend the group and himself, to maintain his reputation and – at the same time – to know which players Abidal was referring to.

“The latter was naive in saying something like that in an interview that, of course, would have a big impact in the media, forcing Messi to react.

This type of problem should be resolved internally. But ultimately, Abidal didn’t do it on purpose.”

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