Barcelona technical secretary Eric Abidal could be sacked from his role at Camp Nou after club captain Lionel Messi publicly hit back at comments made by the Frenchman in the aftermath of Ernesto Valverde's dismissal.

Valverde lost his job in January when Barcelona were top of La Liga and Abidal told SPORT earlier this week that the club began considering the coach’s position after drawing 0-0 against Real Madrid in the first Clásico of the season shortly before Christmas.

Ernesto Valverde

But the 40-year-old also appeared to pass some of it onto the players when he said, “Many players weren’t satisfied or working a lot and there was also an internal communication problem.”

That was a comment that Messi took issue with and the six-time Ballon d’Or winner took the rare step of making a statement on social media, in which he called on Abidal to name names if he is going to blame the players and not simply tarnish the whole squad.

“Sincerely, I don’t like to do these things but I think that people have to be responsible for their jobs and own their decisions,” Messi posted on his Instagram story.

“The players (are responsible) for what happens on the pitch and we are the first to admit when we haven’t been good. The heads of the sports department have to take their responsibilities too and above all own the decisions they make,” he added.

“I think that when you talk about players, you have to give names because if not, it makes everyone dirty and gives air to things that are said which are not true.”

Mundo Deportivo describes it as a ‘genuine internal earthquake’ and suggests that Abidal’s position has now been ‘weakened’, having only just been reassured of his job security at the weekend.

Indeed, the purpose of Abidal giving an interview to SPORT was to defend, justify and explain the club’s decision making processes in terms of their non-existent winter recruitment. MD notes that even the ‘worst case scenario’ didn’t predict this twist.

​RAC1 has reported that president Josep Maria Bartomeu has called a meeting with Abidal at noon on Wednesday, raising the possibility that he could be sacked imminently. ​Sky Sports has reported similar about talks to discuss the future of Abidal at the club.

A separate story from Mundo Deportivo describes Abidal as being in a ‘very delicate situation’, having also recently blamed club legend Xavi for leaking a recent meeting. It is said it will be ‘difficult’ for Abidal to restore his reputation with the club’s top officials.

A report from El Larguero suggests that Abidal had no intention to put any blame onto Messi and that his comments in the interview were misinterpreted. Elsewhere, El Patizado de COPE reports that Messi and Luis Suarez didn’t want to see Valverde sacked.

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