Lionel Messi: Former Barcelona star explains why the club was forced to sell Deco and Ronaldinho because of Lionel Messi

Sudarshan Venkatesan

Alexander Hleb explains the reason behind the departure of Deco and Ronaldinho, which is majorly down to Lionel Messi. 

Former Barcelona player Alexander Hleb has claimed that Ronaldinho and Deco would turn up to the training drunk mostly. This had forced the club to cash in on them and protect Lionel Messi from the duo.

38-year-old Hleb earned his move to Barcelona following an impressive spell with Arsenal. He was one of the best players for the Gunners and a call from Pep Guardiola was too hard to turn down. He signed for the Spanish giants, but he was able to make just 19 appearances after going on to Stuttgart, Birmingham City, and Wolfsburg on loan.

Both Deco and Ronaldinho were shipped off from Nou Camp following Alexander Hleb’s arrival at the club. But, he had seen enough of them during practice sessions claiming the duo drunk. Lionel Messi was just 21 at that time and was one of the hottest prospects in the world at that time.  In order to keep him solely focussed, the Blaugrana got rid off Ronaldinho and Deco.

Hleb said: “Ronaldinho and Deco used to be drunk before they came in for training. Do you know why Barça sold them in 2008? because they were afraid that they would lose Messi.”

Since Ronaldinho and Deco were in the final part of their professional careers, the Blaugrana wanted to keep their future star. Lionel Messi has arguably become one of the best players to have played the game. They would have paid the price had they let Messi slip out of their hands.

It was an understandable decision and the club have decided to look forward to Pep Guardiola’s joy-filled era. The Spaniard assembled one of the best squads in footballing history and clinched every available trophy one season.

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Lionel Messi has gone on to win numerous individual and team accolades ever since 2008. He has recorded himself in the history books of the game of football.

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