Despite Lionel Messi lashing out at him, Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal will keep his job at the club.

According to a BBC Sport report, Barcelona called an emergency meeting with former France defender Abidal on Wednesday to discuss the matter and it was decided after two hours of talks that he will keep his place.

Abidal, who has played with Messi at Barcelona before, made the comments in an interview with Spanish newspaper Diario Sport.

Abidal had said players were not working hard under former coach Ernesto Valverde who was sacked in January. Quique Setien replaced him at the helm.

“Many players weren’t satisfied or working hard and there was also an internal communication problem.

“The relationship between the coach and the dressing room has always been good, but there are things as an ex-player that I could smell. I told the club what I thought and we reached a decision (on Valverde),” he had said.

“When you talk about players, you have to give names because if not, it gives air to things which are not true,” Messi said asking Abidal to spell out names.

Messi then posted on social media: “Sincerely, I don’t like to do these things but I think that people have to be responsible for their jobs and own their decisions.

“The players (are responsible) for what happens on the pitch and we are the first to admit when we haven’t been good. The heads of the sports department have to take their responsibilities too and, above all, own the decisions they make.”