Midfield starlet Ilaix Moriba has criticised Barcelona after he left the Spanish giants to join RB Leipzig.
The 18-year-old was taken to Germany for an initial £13million, which could rise to £19m if certain conditions are met. He is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, which has produced legends such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
However, rumours of a Camp Nou exit emerged earlier this year due to a contract dispute. Moriba was unwilling to sign a contract extension, which angered Barcelona chiefs.
Club president Joan Laporta revealed the news in a press conference: “We do not want players who do not want to renew, it leaves a very bad taste.”
Moriba was subsequently dropped from both the senior side and B team, forcing him to train alone. The Blaugrana insisted that he would not be played unless he agreed a new deal.
The Guinea-born wonderkid has now defended himself, while also condemning his former team.
“The last few months have been the hardest of my life,” said Moriba (via Goal). “We [my family] have received abusive messages but we have been able to get over it to be here today.
“I don’t deserve these messages. They [people at the club] have said many things that are not true and we have had to keep tight-lipped because of the respect that we have for Barcelona. The things that they have said in the press have not been fair.”
Moriba went on to wish Ansu Fati good luck after he took Messi’s famed number ten shirt.
“I have improved at Barcelona with the support of the fans, but over the past few months they have not known how to behave,” he added. “I am not going to judge the whole fanbase based on these few people.
“I will always have Barcelona in my heart, it has been a complicated few months, but it has passed and I wish the best for the club, especially to Ansu, as I have seen that they have given him the number ten shirt and he’s the most suitable one to wear it, I wish him the best.”
The player joins up with fellow young talents Dominik Szoboszlai and Josko Gvardiol at Leipzig. He will compete with Amadou Haidara and Tyler Adams for a place in midfield.
Griezmann leaves Barcelona in shock transfer
Just two years after leaving Atletico Madrid for Barca, Antoine Griezmann has returned to the Wanda Metropolitano.
The France international, 30, has joined on an initial loan. Atletico have the obligation to buy him next summer for a reported €40m (£34.3m).
Griezmann will receive a warm welcome at the club where he thrived between 2014 and 2019.
He managed 133 goals during his first spell at Atletico and could return to his best form once again.