Former Barcelona coach Quique Setien has admitted that Lionel Messi is hard to manage.
Setien was appointed coach at Barcelona in January after the dismissal of Ernesto Valverde, but he lasted just over six months at the club before being shown the door.
The 62-year-old believes Messi is the ‘best of all time’ but claims he has a way of getting what ‘he wants’.
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In an interview with El Pais, Setien spoke about the difficulty of managing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“I think Messi is the best of all time,’ Setien said. ‘There have been other great players who have been great, but the continuity that this boy has had throughout the years has not been had by anyone.
“Leo is difficult to manage. Who am I to change him! If they have accepted him as he is for years and have not changed him.
“There’s another facet beyond just the player and it’s more difficult to manage. Much more difficult. It’s something inherent in many athletes that can be seen in the Michael Jordan documentary (‘The Last Dance’). You see things you don’t expect.
“He’s very reserved but he makes you see the things that he wants. He doesn’t talk much.”
Setien, who was sacked following Barca’s 8-2 defeat in the Champions League, believes he would have lasted longer in the role if he focused on the whole club rather than individual players.
“After leaving what I am clear on is that at certain times I should have made other decisions, but there’s something above you: the club.
“And it is above the president, the player, the coach. It’s the club and the fans. They are the ones to whom you owe the greatest respect, and you have to do what is most convenient for the club as a whole.”
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