Barcelona sack sporting director Eric Abidal after Champions League humiliation

Barcelona have sacked sporting director Eric Abidal as the fallout from their dramatic Champions League exit to Bayern Munich continues.

Barca lost 8-2 to the German champions in the quarter-finals of the revamped competition on Friday night, with the result sending shockwaves across Europe and leading to deep introspection at the Nou Camp.

Manager Quique Setien has already been shown the door, with the club's former defender Ronald Koeman poised to be appointed as the new manager in the coming days.

And now Abidal, another former player at the club, has been removed from the role he held since June 2018.

Barca said in a brief statement: "The club publicly expresses its gratitude to Eric Abidal for the professionalism, commitment, dedication and positive and close treatment that he has always shown towards all the estates that make up the Barca family, and wishes him luck and success in the future."

Abidal's relationship with Lionel Messi had become strained in recent months, with Messi claiming that the Frenchman had been singling out players for blame amid the sacking of former boss Ernesto Valverde.

"When you talk about players, you have to give names because if not, it gives air to things which are not true," he wrote on Instagram.

"I don't know what happened to make him say that but I responded because I felt attacked. I felt he was attacking the players.

"Too much is said about the dressing room, that we force coaching changes or bring in players, and especially about me – like I have a lot of power and make the decisions. The same happened to me in the Argentine national team.

"It bothered me coming from someone from the club… to put the players in the middle of the dismissal of the coach seemed crazy.

"(Abidal) is the one who makes the decisions and has to take charge."

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