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Former Barcelona board member labels Lionel Messi as “sewer rat” in leaked messages

Members of Bartomeu’s attack the star as a “hormonal dwarf” as well


Newly leaked messages from FC Barcelona’s former board reveal unprecedented attacks against Lionel Messi, the club’s star player at the time.

The most inflammatory of all come from Román Gómez Ponti, the head of the club’s legal department. In a message to former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, he labels Messi a “sewer rat,” a “hormonal dwarf,” and a “money grubber.”

Gerard Piqué, who has since retired, and Sergio Busquets, the current captain, are also targeted in the conversation.

The messages are from the 31st of January 2021, and are reaction to an article in El Mundo which reveal Messi and Piqué’s contract details. The Catalan police alleges that it was Gómez Ponti who leaked the contract details.

The messages from Gómez Ponti were sent to a group WhatsApp which included Bartomeu as well as several board members, and they touch on several unconfirmed allegations against Messi and his friends and family. It reads, in full:

“Barto, really, you can’t be such a good person with this sewer rat. The club has given him everything, and he has dedicated himself to being a dictator in terms of signings, transfers, renewals, sponsors just for him, etc. I could never do it, but we should add to the cost of his contract the cost of Pinto, the renewal of Suárez, and that of Jordi Alba, or the renewal commission for Fati (Rodrigo Messi, agent? He does not even know how to read and he is partner to a drug dealer). And above all, the blackmail and rudeness that the club and those of us who work for it have suffered from this hormonal dwarf who owes Barça his life... ah! But when things go wrong (pandemic) you receive the mythical WhatsApp: ‘President, lower the salaries of others, but don’t touch Luis and me.’ Hopefully, when he leaves, people will be indifferent, which is the worst thing that can happen to him (one more money grubber).”

Oscar Grau, the CEO of Barcelona at the time, agrees with the message, simply saying “yes.”

Bartomeu responds by saying, “I agree on many things, but the priority is Barça and this type of article damages the club’s image.”

He goes on to defend Messi’s large contract, saying it was good given how much revenue he generated for the club.

“Many times we have listened to Leo, not always, but many times, and this contract without the pandemic was totally acceptable,” he said.

In the same conversation, Gómez Ponti said Piqué “lacked scruples” and was a “huge son of a bitch.”

Later, he says Busquets should be fired and forgotten about.

Attacks against the club’s players from Bartomeu’s board are not new. However, these direct insults constitute, perhaps, a new low.

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