In a recent interview, former Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino has revealed there were problems between Alexis Sanchez and himself during their time at the Nou Camp together, but stressed that it was all the doing of the media, as reported by Goal (via IBT).
Currently managing the Argentine national team, Martino spent a single season at Barcelona during the 2013/14 campaign. He was widely criticised in the Spanish press, which he claims was one of the main reasons he struggled to adapt to life at Barcelona.
Towards the end of Martino’s time at the club, a report emerged detailing an argument between Alexis and his manager. The media claimed the Chilean had called Martino “spineless” (via IBT), and suggested their relationship had deteriorated badly.
Alexis flat out denied the reports, with his agent releasing a statement at the time.
“After speaking with Alexis, he requested that I categorically deny the version of events pertaining to an altercation with the manager of Barcelona,” he said.
“Throughout his 10-year career, he’s never at any point had any problem with his coaches, much less insult them. He’s always been a consummate professional.”
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While the initial report may not have been true, Martino claims the consistent stories and hassle from the media eventually did cause a problem between Alexis and himself, with things finally coming to a head in training.
“Yes, with Alexis Sanchez [I had a problem],” he said.
“Once we were about to start to do an exercise. He was 50m away. I called him: ‘Alexis, Alexis.’ And he, out of nowhere, reacted as he was playing a game. And I think: ‘What’s wrong with this guy coming at that speed?’. And I asked him: ‘What’s wrong? Are you crazy?’ And he said: ‘We are arguing…’ ‘Who is arguing?,’ I asked. And he said: ‘Did you not read the newspaper today?’ He said that and I thought, well, we were arguing… So then I have to say look, that’s a lie.”
Clearly the problem came from nothing, with the two men merely reacting to stories in the newspapers. You have to think if they were so easily guided into a dispute they can’t have been getting on that fantastically in the first place though, and an argument may have been inevitable.
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Alexis is clearly a hot headed individual, but his fiery personality seems more likely to come out on the pitch rather than in his personal life. His passion is part of what what makes him such a fantastic player, and we wouldn’t change it for anything.