Angry FC Barcelona fans chanted for the resignation of club president Josep Maria Bartomeu after captain Lionel Messi announced on Tuesday that he wished to leave the Catalan side.
“We love you, Messi stay, Messi stay!” and “Bartomeu resign!” chanted several hundred fans outside FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium on Tuesday night.
“I am very upset, for me Barca is Messi and Messi is Barca. They are the same, he is the symbol of Barca … They should erect a monument in Camp Nou.
The decision by the Argentine forward has thrown the club into turmoil less than two weeks after their humiliating 8-2 UEFA Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich.
Messi has been named world’s best player of the year a record six times, but he has grown increasingly unhappy over the last 12 months.
His grouse is on how the club is being run under Bartomeu.
He criticised club officials for forcing players to take a pay cut to cope with the financial hit of the coronavirus pandemic.
After Barca surrendered the Spanish La Liga title to Real Madrid in July, Messi slammed the team as “weak” and “vulnerable” during an uncharacteristically fiery post-match interview.
Barca are in the midst of overhauling their squad following the UEFA Champions League defeat.
Some Spanish media have reported that new coach Ronald Koeman told Messi’s close friend and strike partner, Luis Suarez, that he does not wish the Uruguayan to stay at the club.