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Cruyff: Barca should consider Messi sale

ESPN staff
June 25, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Will Neymar upset the balance at Barcelona? Johan Cruyff believes so © Getty Images
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Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff believes the Catalan club should consider selling Lionel Messi following the recent signing of Neymar.

Cruyff, who has previously played for, managed and held a director's role with the reigning La Liga champions, is concerned that the two mercurial attackers will struggle to co-exist in the same side - and wonders if it might be best to sell one of them to avoid disharmony within the squad.

The Dutchman says he would have not signed Neymar if he had been in charge of the decision-making process at the club but, as the Brazil international is now at the Nou Camp, it is Messi who he would make available for transfer.

"No, I wouldn't have signed Neymar," Cruyff told Marca. "With Neymar on board, I would have planned for the possibility of selling Messi - and some would agree with that, others not.

"You are talking about a team, its players, the things around it ... There are too many things at stake. That's why it's so difficult to manage such a top class squad."

He added: "It's like the free kicks. Neymar is very good at taking them, and Messi has already shown he is. Who's going to take them?

"Or the fact that Neymar and Barcelona are with Nike while Leo is with Adidas. These are situations that could cause problems."

Cruyff does not believe the Barcelona board share his opinion, and so does not expect Messi to be sold in the near future. But he is concerned that the addition of another superstar could upset the balance of the most successful team of recent times.

"We'll have to wait and see - it could turn out well or badly," he added. "It's a risk."

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