Former Arsenal and Barcelona player, Alexander Hleb, has made a huge revelation concerning five times Balon d'Or winner, Lionel Messi.
Hleb claims Brazilian legend, Ronaldinho, and Portuguese veteran, Deco, were often unprofessional, as they turned up drunk for training. He added that the Barcelona board had to dispose both players in 2008 so the then fast rising superstar, Lionel Messi, would not be swayed into their footsteps.
Alexander Hleb told a media outlet:
Ronaldinho and Deco came to training drunk. That’s why Ronaldinho and Deco were sold in 2008. Because they were afraid that they would bring down Lionel Messi.”
Messi, who emerged from the Barcelona famed academy, LA Masia, was clearly understudying the world class players on the team as at that time, and to protect Messi from the unprofessionalism of the players, the board decided to offload them during the inauguration of Pep Guadiola's Era in 2008.
Hleb, however, was signed by Pep Guadiola in 2008 but failed to stick a claim in the Barcelona squad, amassing just 36 appearances in his four-year stint with Barcelona. This was where he spent most of his playing time on loan spells which prompted his eventual departure to Russia in 2012.