Barca fans booed Samuel Umtiti during the Joan Gamper Trophy match against Juve on Sunday that led to a lot of controversy. The defender went straight to the dressing room after full time skipping the post-match celebrations. The centre-back was booed before and during the match by fans in the stands at the Johan Cruyff Stadium. The 27-year-old came on as a second-half substitute during Barcelona’s annual Joan Gamper Trophy match against Juventus on Sunday night, which took place just hours after Messi’s farewell press conference.
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Barcelona won the match 3-0 – thanks to goals from Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite and Riqui Puig – and celebrated with the trophy afterwards.
According to Spanish journalist Josep Soldado, Umtiti was upset by the jeering and went straight to the dressing room after the final whistle.
Griezmann and Pique speak defend Samuel Umtiti
Antoine Griezmann and Gerard Pique have both defended Samuel Umtiti after the Frenchman was booed by some Barcelona supporters during the Gamper Trophy on Sunday night. Pique asked supporters during the match to clap instead of whistle and also addressed the situation in a post-match interview.
He told reporters, “People have every right to express themselves, but whistles don’t help.” Griezmann also responded with a message of support in a post on Instagram. Umtiti was upset by the boos and reportedly went straight down the tunnel after the match which meant he was not part of the group when the Gamper Trophy was presented. The Frenchman also responded with a post on Instagram after the match. He wrote, “Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let the silence take care of things.”
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Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti who, along with midfielder Miralem Pjanic refused to leave the club for free. Barcelona offered to release on a free transfer last month in an attempt to slash the club’s wage bill. According to Goal, Ronald Koeman didn’t want to keep the player either but both remain on the club’s payroll for the time being. The Barca fans are furious that Samuel Umtiti refused to reduce his wages or leave so that Messi could stay.
Messi agreed to a 50 per cent wage cut as part of a new Barcelona deal, but the Spanish club were unable to push the contract through due to Laliga’s financial rules. The 34-year-old Argentine superstar, who is expected to sign for Paris Saint-Germain this summer, would have been unable to play for Barcelona for free due to Spanish law. According to Goal, Barcelona offered to release Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic from their respective deals in a desperate bid to reduce their wage bill.
According to The Independent, Barcelona’s wage percentage needs to be at 70 per cent, but it currently stands at 95 per cent even without Messi signing a new contract.
The World Cup winner wants to prove himself to Dutch boss Koeman that he’s good enough to play for the club and has reportedly been working with a personal trainer throughout this summer to ensure he hits the ground running this season.