Rivaldo Exclusive: Quique Setien shouldn’t criticize after leaving the club
Former Barcelona manager Quique Setien has complained in an interview about Lionel Messi controlling the locker room and having too much say in the club’s decisions.
I have my doubts that Setien’s claims are true. But if they were, he should have told the board that he wasn’t happy with the situation. A manager should always communicate when something is unpleasant for him. Setien shouldn’t be trying to shift the responsibility for an awful end of season.
Griezmann is an important member of the team
Antoine Griezmann is still struggling to get things going at Barcelona, but I don’t think going out on loan is the right option for him. Barcelona need all parts of their squad and he is one of the best players.
We’ve seen good things from Griezmann against Juventus and Alaves this season, so his poor performance against Dynamo Kiev shouldn’t detract from that. As players, we all have bad days.
He needs to build more confidence and start proving his real value as no one doubts his ability.
Ter Stegen can become Barça captain
The German goalkeeper Ter Stegen returned to the team against Dynamo Kiev and produced a brilliant performance. If wasn’t for him, Barcelona wouldn’t have won that match.
Many argue that he might become Barça’s captain in the future and I totally agree. When Messi, Pique or Busquets leave the club, he can take that role because has the right experience and plays in a perfect position to control and observe the match and advise his teammates. He could be a great captain.
Madrid are Champions League contenders
Real Madrid’s two Brazilian wonderkids Rodrygo and Vinicius are presenting their manager with a tough situation. Both came off the bench and were decisive in the team’s win against Inter in the Champions League this week. When Zidane starts them they tend to not perform so well, and that is probably confusing the French manager.
I believe this happens because of their youth. Sometimes you can’t play at the same level all the time and that’s more likely to happen when you are younger and still learning a lot about European football.
For me, Zidane needs to continue training them the best he can and give them the right tools to develop their game and become more reliable players.
Eden Hazard seems back to top fitness and, with the Belgian starting to produce his best football again, I believe that Real Madrid can challenge for the Champions League.
Hazard should be disappointed with his performances for Madrid so far. He will want to prove he was a great signing who can add a lot to the club.
Neymar should renew his contract if he’s happy
Neymar is rumoured to be negotiating a five-year extension to his contract with PSG and, if he is feeling happy at the club, then he has no reason to hesitate.
The French club was close to winning Champions League title last season and that’s one of Neymar’s great goals at the moment as well as claiming the Ballon D’or. If he continues battling for PSG and playing well for Brazil he will be in contention for football’s biggest individual prize for many years yet.
Few expected Zlatan’s success in second Milan spell
When Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to AC Milan, few expected he could be successful at almost 40-years-old.
I would say that not even the club was expecting him to have such a great impact. But Zlatan embraces any challenge, so even at his age he’s showing how great he is as a player and becoming vital to the club.
He is the third best goalscorer in the world – just behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi – and doesn’t seem to be thinking about a retirement yet, so, I can only praise him for being such a fantastic player.
He is also one of few players with a great personality. He’s always sincere when he speaks and consistently proves himself on the pitch.
Fati and Haaland can follow me and win Golden Ball one day
Recently, Football Observatory published a list with the most valuable young talents born after 2000 and I believe that some of them like Ansu Fati or Erling Haaland could seriously battle for the Golden Ball in the future.
Actually, even Rodrygo or Vinicius Jr. may enter in the mix as are already at top clubs and playing in some of the best competitions in the planet at 20-years old or younger.
At 20, I was just signing my first professional contract with the Brazilian unknown club Mogi Mirim. Seven years later, I was crowned best football player in the world, but my path was tough, and I had to take many steps with Corinthians, Palmeiras, La Coruña and finally Barcelona.
The youngsters I mention already play for top clubs so they can shine early in their careers.