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‘There is no rift’ Setien cools talk of Barcelona and Messi controversy

Lionel Messi, Barcelona
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Barca boss Quique Setien insists there is no rift between Lionel Messi and his assistant coach amid reports of behind-the-scenes unrest at Camp Nou.

Quique Setien has calmed down alleged reports about unrest between Lionel Messi and assistant coach Eder Sarabia.

Barcelona have not gotten to their flowing best since the restart of their La Liga campaign.

Bar the impressive 4-0 victory against Mallorca, the Catalan giants have struggled of late, failing to win their last two games on the bounce.

Much of their woes were compounded when Lionel Messi appeared to be ignoring instructions from Eder Sarabia on the touchline during their 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo over the weekend.

Following the disappointing stalemate, reports were quick to speculate that some sort of unrest between players, coaching staff and the club’s board was happening at Barcelona.

Head coach Quique Setien has now come out to dismiss those reports, saying there is no sort of disunity under his watch.

Speaking at a pre-match news conference for Atletico Madrid’s visit, Setien insisted Messi and the squad are united in the battle to retain their title.

“I don’t recall any problems that are worth mentioning,” said Setien as quoted by Goal.

“In reality it is true that there are always controversies, as in life, and it is normal that there are differences.

“But this has always happened. I was not an easy player either. What we have to try to do is to convince everyone of the common idea.

“I understand it as something natural. There is good communication. I don’t give it any importance.

“When there are no victories, when things happen, everyone makes their point. This is the circus in which we show ourselves.”

Barcelona face a crunch test against Atletico Madrid tomorrow and would be counting on the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to deliver the goods. Further dropping of points could all but secure the title for Real Madrid.