Barcelona could have signed Neymar instead of Antoine Griezmann, as per Eric Abidal.
The former Barca player and technical director made strong claims about the team’s recruitment strategy.
Abidal was at Camp Nou when the Blaugrana decided to spend over €120m on Griezmann. Abidal, like many Barcelona fans think the club would have been better off signing Neymar instead of the Frenchman from Atletico Madrid.
“This is not about which player is better, it was what I thought was the position we needed at the time. The team needed a real winger. The president decided to sign Griezmann,” Abidal said.
“One of the arguments against Neymar was that he had a court case against the club, so it’s not easy. They said he would have to stop the court process if he wanted to come back. That wasn’t my problem because I was not at the club when that dispute happened. In my view, I could sign the player, but it didn’t happen.”
Abidal has also revealed that he wanted to bring Mauricio Pochettino, who now manages PSG, to coach Barcelona after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde last year.
“On my list was Mauricio Pochettino, Quique Setién, Max Allegri and Xavi Hernández. Quique was appointed, but my first option was Pochettino.”
“I told the board ‘I have to bring the best coach we can in the market. I’m not here for politics because he was before in Espanyol’.
“For me, it’s not politics. I wanted the best and Pochettino is one of the best in our game. He reached the Champions League final with Tottenham, you have to respect this, he has a good philosophy of playing, a good philosophy of training, players love him and I think he would be a better coach now for this situation, but with a real project.”
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