Still, former assistant coach Eder Sarabia confirmed that chemistry with Lionel Messi was not what the staff wanted and that they did not have the most focused version of the Argentine.

The staff couldn’t get the best out of Messi

Quique Setien’s time at Barcelona was short and probably will not be remembered for anything other than 8-2 humiliation at Bayern Munich’s hands. Still, former assistant coach Eder Sarabia confirmed that chemistry with Lionel Messi was not what the staff wanted and that they did not have the most focused version of the Argentine. It was a move taken by Josep Maria Bartomeu out of desperation rather than foresight. He made it clear that Xavi was the club’s first choice from the start. “We couldn’t get the best out of Leo. The chemistry with him was not what we wanted,” Sarabia told reporters. “Being Leo is very difficult. You are the best player of all time, you are very well known. And you cannot go out on the street, which produces wear and mental fatigue. That’s why he wanted to leave.”

Much has been made from Barcelona’s structure that was crumbling in the final months of the Bartomeu era. And Sarabia believes that it has a genuine impact on how Setien’s tenure played out. “When you walk into a club and see things at the functional level that just don’t fit, it’s okay for you to get discouraged,” he added. “Something was happening at the club, but now changes are being made. I was not alone in saying this; Pique and Messi both said it”. However, as he moves forward to a coaching role with FC Andorra, Sarabia does not regret his time working with Barcelona and hopes to learn from some of Catalonia’s lessons. “Barcelona weren’t a team prepared to face important challenges. I was helpless,” he confirmed. “Everything that happened to me at Barcelona made me better, including the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich.”