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‘Barca have moved past Messi-Enrique row

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Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez says the widely reported row between team superstar Lionel Messi and coach Luis Enrique in early January has “zero importance” except to show how much everyone at the club cares about winning.

The bust-up during a training game came just after the return from La Liga’s winter break, and quickly blew up into a media storm that Messi himself helped fuel by suggesting he did not know where he would be playing next season.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu initially denied that anything had happened, although neither Luis Enrique nor Messi would confirm nor deny what had happened. Apparent confirmation did come however via teammate Jeremy Mathieu in comments on French radio after last Wednesday’s turbulent Copa del Rey game at Atletico Madrid.

The first senior Barca figure to speak in public after Mathieu’s comments told a news conference that neither the incident, nor the public confirmation, would have any affect on Barca’s spirit of togetherness.

“These are situations which happen over the season, and can happen in any group of people,” Xavi said.

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