Lionel Messi’s attitude cannot be questioned despite him trying to force a move away from Barcelona, according to former team-mate Victor Valdes.
The Argentina international confirmed last Friday he will be staying at Camp Nou against his wishes to avoid a legal battle with the club he joined as a 13-year-old.
Messi had hoped to exercise a clause in his contract and depart for free, but Barca and La Liga disputed his right to do that and the forward will now stay put.
He returned to training earlier this week and Valdes, who spent nearly two decades with the Catalan giants, has backed his close friend to quickly put the saga behind him.
“I have suffered during this because he is my colleague,” Valdes, now managing Catalonian side Horta, told RAC1 . “Leo was with me since making it to the first team and I’ve always had a strong connection with him.
“I have suffered because the attitude of Leo cannot be questioned, nor his qualities. I’ve been hurt by the comments but we know this exists in football. I am very happy that Barca can keep him and I hope he can give many happy moments to them.
“I think it’ll be a good season for him. We will see the Leo who can show what he’s capable of. It’s guaranteed he can be decisive in every game – that’s the most important thing.”