Spanish media claims Lionel Messi tried to stop cancer-stricken teammate sending videos

Eric Abidal (right) has now clarified his comments on Lionel Messi

Eric Abidal (right) was mis-translated in an interview on Spanish TV

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Spanish news outlet is facing a backlash today after falsely claiming Lionel Messi tried to stop a cancer-stricken teammate sending videos to the Barcelona squad.

Josep Pedrerol and his programme, El Chiringuito de Jugones, are at the centre of the storm after sending a tweet to promote an interview with Eric Abidal, who was struck down with cancer while playing with Messi for Barcelona before making an incredible recovery.

The tweet read "WE ARE ON: Messi asked Abidal not to tell them about his illness."

A separate tweet carried a translated quote from Abidal's interview, in which the player said "I made a video for the players, there was a match. Messi told me that I shouldn't have sent it, that they'd been very affected."

However Pedrerol and his programme are now facing huge criticism, led by Abidal himself, who has published a statement clarifying what he said.

The retired French defender tweeted: "Correction: When I sent the video to gee up the team Lionel Messi never told me not to send them more stuff like this, nor did he tell me he didn't want to know anything about it.

"Messi told me that he didn't like seeing me like this, but he never had bad words for me."

Pedrerol appears to have accepted his mistake, thanking Abidal for the correction and insisting this is how the interview was related on his programme. He also said he and his colleagues "are very glad about your complete recuperation."