Former Chelsea midfielder, Joe Cole has slammed Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi, following the Blaugrana’s Champions League last 16, first-leg, 4-1 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night at Camp Nou.
He also warned Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, over signing Messi.
Cole believes Messi was not “emotionally engaged” and was “disinterested” during Barcelona’s tie with PSG, adding that it would be a “gamble” for Guardiola to sign him if he continues to play like that.
Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick gave Mauricio Pochettino’s side a first-leg advantage over Barcelona ahead of the second leg next month.
Speaking after the game, Cole told BT Sport: “Disinterested is the word. They (Barcelona) had no power, no togetherness.
“Messi looked disinterested. It’s really hard for any ex-player to criticise him because he’s a genius and the greatest player I have seen play football, but tonight he didn’t look like he was emotionally engaged in the game.
“He is a leader out there, so is (Gerard) Pique and so is (Sergio) Busquets. The spine of the team at Barcelona looked weak and just fell to bits.
“It was 4-1 – but it could have been five or six. It’s a worrying time for Barcelona.”
He added, “You’d have to do your due diligence before you sign Messi.
“The 34-year-old Messi, if he plays like that it will be a gamble. To take him into a club where Pep [Guardiola] relies on energy, enthusiasm, togetherness.
“It’s a mess at Barca, I don’t know how they’re going to sort it out. I can’t see Messi staying there.
“It’s going to be tough for him to connect into one of these big teams because he’s going to have to roll back the clock and move as he did three or four years ago.”