Do Barcelona have a ‘Lionel Messi rule’?

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Is Lionel Messi a ‘protected species’ on the Barcelona training pitch? Goal takes a look at what the supposed rule is and whether it’s a real thing

Do Barcelona have a ‘Lionel Messi rule’?

Is the Argentine a ‘protected species’ on the training pitch? Goal takes a look at what the supposed rule is and whether it’s a real thing

Lionel Messi is ‘s most prized asset and those associated with the Catalan institution let out a collective sigh of relief when the Argentine agreed to stay after a protracted dispute.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner came closer to an exit from Camp Nou than ever before this summer by officially declaring his desire to leave, but he eventually relented – albeit after airing his grievances in an exclusive interview with Goal.

Keeping Messi happy is a crucial part of ensuring the talisman remains at the club and that reality has not been lost on the presidential hopefuls who seek to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu.

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The 33-year-old has expressed his annoyance about the sense that “there has been no project” at Barcelona for too long and it’s little surprise to see candidates building campaigns around resolving that very issue.

Others have even resorted to massaging the star’s ego by making the point that Messi is deserving of a statue next to that which already stands of Johan Cruyff.

It’s abundantly clear that placating Messi, to some extent at least, is a key consideration for those who run Barca, but does a ‘Lionel Messi rule’ extend to his team-mates and the training pitch?

Do Barcelona have a ‘Lionel Messi rule’?

The perceived idea that Barcelona have some sort of ‘Lionel Messi rule’ emerged after an interview given by Jean-Clair Todibo to German outlet Bild in January 2020.

Essentially, the French defender hinted at an unwritten rule which dictates that the Barca players do their best not to injure Messi during training sessions.

“We all knew that he couldn’t get injured,” Todibo said in the interview with Bild.

“I learned a lot [from Messi], and also stole a few balls from him [in training]. But you go easy on…

Ryan Kelly

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