- Palmer points to teammate that Hamilton would love to have
- Alonso takes a dig at Honda and points to troubles for Toro Rosso
- Hamilton on why Mercedes will triumph in 2018 and it is not due to the W09
- Alonso reveals why he did not quit F1 despite leaning towards exit
- Vettel offers crisp reply to Ferrari critics
- Hamilton’s ‘oompa loompa’ ex-girlfriend reveals champion’s strange toilet demand
- Hamilton helps Mercedes bag sponsorship deal
- Verstappen responds to Wolff’s early season prediction
- Ferrari boss opens door to staying in F1 if Liberty Media follows instruction
- Halo not disturbing drivers’ vision, but glaring problem remains
- Updated: February 2, 2018
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi plays a massive role in how Ernesto Valverde goes about selecting his team at the Nou Camp.
At least that is what Spanish media outlet Diario Gol has claimed, citing the fact that Gerard Deulofeu confessed this to Real Madrid ace Dani Ceballos following his departure from Catalunya on loan to Watford in the January transfer window.
Deulofeu had previously played in the English Premier League for Everton, but returned to Barcelona last summer.
But, he was unable to break into Valverde’s team and made just seven starts this term before being shipped back to England.
On Monday, his loan deal at Watford was announced and the latest reports suggest he was in contact with Ceballos in the wake of that move.
According to Diario Gol, Deulofeu said that Valverde’s selections depend a lot on how close players are to Messi.
The message sent to Ceballos on WhatsApp was reportedly, “You play if you are Messi’s friend.”
It is believed that even Ceballos has similar feelings about how his career at Real Madrid is panning out.
The midfielder has also failed to break into the team, having just made two starts in the league this term.
Ceballos is said to have considered a return to Real Betis, the club he joined Real from, last month.
However, he was unable to clinch a loan deal and will have to do with warming the bench at Real Madrid, at least for the rest of the season.