- Lionel Messi defended his teammates after Abidal accused them of not doing enough
- The Argentine told the sporting director to aim his criticism at the player he was talking about
- Messi became the captain of the Catalan team after the exit of Iniesta
Lionel Messi is unarguably one of the best footballers in the world with several accolades credited to his name.
The 32-year-old clinched his sixth Ballon d'Or award last year - beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk to the title.
However, the leadership quality of the Argentine superstar has often come under heavy scrutiny owing to his failure to have won the Champions League after the exit of both Xavi and Iniesta.
Some quarters also feel the forward is not fit enough to be the captain of a team due to his level of gentleness on the pitch.
Meanwhile, the attacker showed he could stand up for his teammates after Barca's sporting director Eric Abidal blamed some of the players for complacency.
Messi, in his reply, told his former teammate to be specific when trying to blame the players - adding that names much be attached to criticisms.
“Honestly, I don’t like doing these things but I think that everyone has to be responsible for his acts and take responsibility for their own decisions,” Messi wrote.
“The players [are responsible for] what happens on the pitch, and we have been the first to recognise when we were not good.
“The people in the sporting directorate should also assume their responsibility and above all take ownership of the decisions they make.
“Finally, I think that when players are talked about, names should be given because, if not, we are all being dirtied and it feeds comments that are made and are not true.”
Apart from his recent decision to stand up for his teammates against the club's sporting director, Give Me Sport highlights six other times Messi has taken up the leadership position.
Messi stood up for Paulo Dybala when the Juventus forward was shown two yellow cards which led to his expulsion of their World Cup qualifier against Uruguay in 2016. The Barcelona forward confronted the referee claiming the decision was a bad one.
Leo helped newbie Ousmane Dembele settled down well at the Camp Nou after the Frenchman found it difficult to do so.
The 2018 World Cup-winning star arrived at the club from German League side Borussia Dortmund in 2017 but injury has been his major undoing at the club.
Messi inspired Argentina to 2-1 win over Super Eagles of Nigeria in Russia two years ago with his half time pep talk.
The Argentine star also inspired the Catalan club to 5-1 victory over Olympique Lyon having scored twice and assisting two others int he same game.
Lionel Messi gave up the chance to take his side's penalty after conceding the opportunity to Philippe Coutinho against Sevilla.
The 32-year-old struck three good times to help his side qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia two years back. All these eclipse the leadership skills of the Argentine star.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Lionel Messi has hit back at Eric Eric Abidal, Barcelona sporting director, for playing a blame game on players over the sacking former manager Ernesto Valverde.
Speaking with a Spanish media outlet Diario Sport, Abidal had submitted that lack of full commitment from players was responsible for Valverde's Camp Nou exit.