‘Guardiola had to intervene’ – Barca Atlètic boss Rafa Márquez reveals training ground spat with Leo Messi

Barcelona Atlètic head coach Rafael Márquez has this weekend opened up on an incident which saw he and Lionel Messi face off in a heated argument, during their respective playing days.

Márquez, for his part, of course enjoyed a stellar playing stint at Camp Nou, from 2003 to 2010.

Across this spell, he lined out alongside some of world football’s finest, including Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, and of course, the aforementioned Messi.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner burst onto the scene during Márquez’s time in Barcelona, with the pair having enjoyed great success together on the pitch.

Behind the scenes, however, all was not always quite as rosy.

Speaking in an interview with journalist Yordi Rosado, as cited by Marca, this weekend, ex-defender Márquez provided an insight into a training ground falling out between he and Messi.

The incident in question came with the Mexican having been of the opinion that, during his early years, Barca’s greatest-ever player often tried to do too much when in possession:

“We knew that Leo could dribble past three or four players but sometimes he exaggerated it a lot. We tried to direct him, telling him: ‘Here you dribble, not here’. It was so that he would work more with his teammates. And one day, due to my strong insistence in these instructions, a problem occurred.”

Márquez went on to add that, so heated did the situation become, manager Pep Guardiola was forced to step in:

“In training I gave a lot of orders. At some point there was a clash between us that ended in an argument in which Guardiola had to intervene. We began to exchange words. Beyond this, we were very good companions, we are not the best friends. We were teammates and I admire his career. He is the greatest in the history of football.”

Conor Laird | GSFN

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