Ex-Real Madrid boss leaps to Lionel Messi's defence and says Setien broke dressing room code talking about Barcelona ace

QUIQUE SETIEN 'broke the dressing room code' by taking a swipe at Lionel Messi, according to ex-Real Madrid boss Jorge Valdano.

On Monday, the former Barcelona boss claimed the Argentine superstar is 'difficult to manage'.

Setien, 62, was sacked after just seven months at the Nou Camp which culminated in the 8-2 Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich.

On Messi, Setien claimed: “Leo is difficult to manage.

"Who am I to change him? If they have accepted him as he is for years and have not changed him.

“There’s another facet beyond just the player and it’s more difficult to manage.

"Much more difficult. It’s something inherent in many athletes that can be seen in the Michael Jordan documentary (The Last Dance).

"You see things you don’t expect."

But ex-Los Blancos chief Valdano has hit out at Setien, saying he 'went too far'.

Valdano told El Transistor: "There are implicit, veiled reproaches within his words.

"When you speak, either you say everything very clearly or you leave a suspicion that is very uncomfortable.

"The dressing room is a very particular area, full of codes and what happens there should not be disseminated.

"And if it is done it must be done with total clarity, with the fewest details.

"He has experienced that intimacy; at some point he reproaches himself for not having made decisions, that he was afraid of being above the culture of the club.

"Indeed, there is a self-criticism that I find interesting.

"But I think the conversation ends up overflowing a little and, in the end, it went a little further than it should. That's my point of view."

Meanwhile, current Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman also sided with Messi, saying he 'disagreed' with Setien's opinion.

Koeman stated: “Leo is a very good player, he is the best in the world.

"I am seeing his winning character every day and he speaks for himself.

"He is the captain and I talk to him every week about on-field issues and the dressing room.

"I do not agree with Setien, but everyone can have their opinion."

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