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Mar 1, 2020 at 8pm UK at Santiago Bernabeu
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Rivaldo accuses Quique Setien of making Barcelona too reliant on Lionel Messi

Rivaldo accuses Setien of making Barca too reliant on Messi
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Barcelona legend Rivaldo accuses new boss Quique Setien of making the team too reliant on Lionel Messi and claims that he has not improved things since taking over.

Barcelona legend Rivaldo has accused Quique Setien of making the team even more dependent on Lionel Messi since he took over as manager.

Setien was appointed in January as something of a surprise replacement for Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked despite Barcelona sitting top of La Liga.

The Catalan giants have been beaten by Valencia and Athletic Bilbao since the new manager's arrival and, while they still sit narrowly clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid ahead of Sunday night's Clasico, Rivaldo does not believe that Setien has improved matters.

"They are yet to improve under new boss Quique Setien and the team haven't truly found their best form this season. They have great players but they need to be much better in possession. They also need to shoot more from outside the box to surprise their opponents," Rivaldo told Betfair.

"They are playing with a new system which makes them even more dependent on Messi, as he is responsible for making a difference with his dribbling, shooting from outside the area and combining with teammates. But as we saw against Napoli in the Champions League this week, Messi is targeted by opponents and if he doesn't show up the team immediately feels it.

"El Clasico won't be decisive in the title race, as we have seen both teams lose points to smaller clubs. It would, though, give Barca a nice cushion and the satisfaction of leaving their old enemy's season in tatters."

Barcelona currently sit two points clear of Real Madrid with 13 matches of their season remaining.

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts angrily to a challenge from Sergio Ramos during the Clasico with Real Madrid on March 2, 2019
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