LIONEL MESSI'S father is to blame for his failed transfer away from Barcelona, according to legendary striker Hernan Crespo.
The Argentine superstar saw his sensational plot to leave the Nou Camp scuppered this summer.
Messi, 33, believed he was eligible to leave on a free transfer after activating a clause in his contract.
But Barca claimed it had expired and were demanding £630million to let him leave.
Messi decided he would stay and see out the final year of his contract instead of taking his boyhood club to court.
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The playmaker's father and agent, Jorge, was at the heart of the transfer saga and was vocal in his opinions of president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
And Crespo, who scored 25 goals in 73 appearances at Chelsea, believes family sentiment proved a vital factor in negotiations.
He told TyC Sports: "He doesn't stop being the father and in those circumstances you need a professional.
"It's not the same as an agent speaking: it's a father speaking. The agent is not going to look at family sentiment.
"I don't want to detract from his father, but he does not have the background in terms of these things compared to others.
"We're talking about directors, contracts and money. You need someone who can handle himself in that setting."
Real Madrid hero Hugo Sanchez shared a similar opinion and believes a better agent could have seen him leave.
The 208-goal Los Blancos hero told ESPN: "That untimely burofax only strengthened the image of the president of Barcelona and gave him time to weaken Messi's decision.
"Messi has had no choice but to stay at Barcelona due to bad advice from his father and the law firm, because they could have saved that burofax.
"That has caused weakness to his image within the team.
"Coincidentally, Messi had the lawyers who had previously worked with Barcelona, but due to a conflict of interest, the Catalan club changed its strategy."
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