'Messi didn't leave because of me'


FC Barcelona star Jordi Alba has refuted claims that he is partly to blame for Lionel Messi's departure from the club.

Despite getting off to a winning start in the new LaLiga season, the tension between Barca players, fans, and the club's hierarchy has seemingly not cooled down as the aftermath of the Argentine's departure continues to unfold.

Scroll through the gallery above to see six players who are linked with a Barca exit

It was suggested a few weeks ago that Alba, who is one of the team's four captains, would not accept a wage cut when requested by Barca's leadership, something many believe could have helped keep Messi at the Camp Nou. 

The Spain left-back has now firmly spoken out after he was reportedly jeered at by the club's fans during their 4-2 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday.

"No one called me before Euro 2020, that's false," Alba said in a press conference after that match. 

"When the club talks with me, I am willing. I'm from here, spending my whole life in Barcelona. That my commitment is questioned hurts me a lot.

"As the president hasn't spoken specifically about this yet, I suppose he will speak and he'll tell the truth. My lawyers have spoken to the club.

Read: Barca open LaLiga with 6-goal thriller

"Pique's [wage cut that was announced on the weekend] was concluded first simply because of the timing but the willingness of all the captains was always as it had to be. 

"The lies annoy me, they tire me. I can put up with a lot, but I suffer for my family and the things they have to hear.

"Apart from being the best ever, Leo [Messi] was the one who understood me best, so imagine the efforts I would have made for him to stay.

"It's not true [that Messi left because of a pay cut the captains rejected]... the Messi stuff was separate from the captains, between the club and him.

"I can't control everything that's said, but I've been around. Nothing will surprise me. If 10 out of 10 news articles about Jordi Alba are negative, it's normal that people think badly. I can't stand being doubted.

"I'm not saying the club leaks things, just that you should ask the president."

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