Lionel Messi has thrown his weight behind embattled Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde following the Spanish Super Cup semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid.
The defeat is the latest slip up by the Spanish champions as pressure continues to mount on the future of Valverde.
And fans have gone on social media to call for the sacking of the Spaniard after the 3-2 to Rojiblancos in Saudi Arabia.
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After the game, Messi has openly backed his coach despite the defeat of their La Liga rivals: “Yes, we're working to get better.
“We haven't been playing well recently and need to get our performances back, even though we are the leaders [of LaLiga]."
Diego Simeone's side went ahead through Koke at the start of the second half but Messi equalized five minutes later.
And just before the hour mark Atoine Griezmann scored against his former side to put 2-1 up. Alvaro Morata leveled matter from a spot-kick before Angel Correa sealed the win four minutes from time.
However Messi went on to say he believes his team did not deserve to lose against Atletico, and that he and his team-mates can be proud of their performance.
“We didn't deserve to lose,” he continued.
“It's a shame, we played a great game, we were feeling good, better than we have been recently.
“We were controlling the game, attacking all the time.
“And in 10 minutes they turned a scoreline around which we should have killed off before then.
“Today we took a step forward, despite the defeat.
“It hurts to lose because it's for a title, but we played well and were unlucky not to get the win.
“We were better for almost the entire match, but in the end, the team that scores wins. Whether it's unfair or not, we lost.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Lionel Messi faced-off with Portuguese youngster Joao Felix as both players had to be quickly separated during the Spanish Super Cup semi-final clash.
The Atletico Madrid attacker seemed to have complained to the Barcelona captain about something as they walked off the pitch during the break.
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