Barcelona suffered an embarrassing 4-1 home defeat to PSG in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first-leg, but the problem for Ronald Koeman’s team is bigger than their on field performance according to former player Gbenga Okunowo.
Lionel Messi scored Barcelona’s only goal, but the Captain lacks the leadership style to get the proper response from his teammates, Okunnowo told ‘No Holds Barred’ anchor and former Super Eagles defender Ifeanyi Udeze on Brila FM, Wednesday.
The Catalan club is in turmoil on and off the pitch and the leadership vacuum at the is a major setback.
Barcelona have been without an elected President since the resignation of Josep Bartomeu in October. Several key positions in Management at the club were also dissolved.
Speaking on the team’s woes, Okunowo who joined Barcelona in 1998 and played for two seasons, insists the leadership crisis has been a hindrance and Koeman’s side is suffering for it.
‘The general feeling in Barcelona is of despair. The Team is suffering and the Club itself is same. Lionel Messi is a great player and the captain of the team, but Yesterday, he didn’t show much leadership,’ the former Barcelona defender said.
‘In the past, with Puyol every player would step up because on the pitch he’d push you to give 100 percent. Messi isn’t the vocal type of leader.’
‘However, beyond what happened on the pitch on Tuesday, the fact that there’s also no President or a management to take key decisions in the club is a big concern.
‘The team lost in the Copa del Rey to Sevilla but there wasn’t much fuss, this defeat is even more painful because it happened in the Champions League.
‘There’s a lot that needs to be done to get this team going again and I doubt Messi can make it happen.’