Football

Barcelona coach Koeman: Show more respect to Lionel Messi

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman rallied behind Lionel Messi after the Argentinian delivered a vintage performance in yesterday morning's (Singapore time) 2-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao, hours after full details of Messi's lucrative contract were published in the Spanish media.

Messi scored his 650th goal for the Catalan side with a sumptuous free-kick to put Barca in front while Antoine Griezmann struck the winner after Jordi Alba had scored an own goal.

The day had begun with newspaper El Mundo revealing the total amount Barca had spent on Messi's last contract, while adding it had caused their current financial crisis.

"Whoever published this had bad intentions... Messi has done so much for this club... We have to respect that," Koeman said. - REUTERS

Football