Barcelona sporting director Deco has found himself at the centre of controversy after an interview in which he was quoted as saying the club need to ditch their historic style of play.
The Blaugrana are on the hunt for a new manager after Xavi confirmed he will step down at the end of the season, and despite a widespread expectancy that Barcelona will search for a manager to reignite their 4-3-3, possession-heavy history, Deco left fans scratching their heads last week.
In an interview with Portuguese outlet SOL earlier this week, Deco allegedly said: “The new direction is essential and the president agrees with me on this. A profound change is needed. There is a method that is exhausted. We have to find someone who will break with the past once and for all and move towards a new paradigm.”
Those comments remained live on the outlet’s website for several days before being picked up by the Catalan media, who later asked Xavi for his thoughts.
Suggesting a rift between manager and director, Xavi responded: “He doesn’t say that to me. He tells me that he believes in the Barca DNA and style. I can’t say anything else.”
A large number of Barcelona fans quickly took to social media to vent their fury at Deco for both his perceived dishonesty and lack of commitment to the club’s history, sparking a speedy backpedal from both Deco and SOL.
Reports suggest that Deco was frantically contacting local radio stations to argue he never said anything of the sort, while SOL later updated the article to claim it had been a huge misunderstanding and blame the author for failing to capture Deco’s true sentiment.
Many have been quick to question how the comments, made and written in Deco’s native Portuguese tongue, were allowed to stay live for so long if they were not a true representation of his words, but everybody involved has moved to try and clarify the situation.
Nevertheless, a large number of fans appear to have turned their back on Deco, who is expected to release his own statement to explain the truth behind his comments.