Eamon Dunphy has hit back at the “morons” that “misinterpreted” his comments regarding Barcelona and Lionel Messi last week.
Messi scored twice against Real Madrid in Sunday night’s Clasico, including a last-minute winner, which in turn prompted many to resurrect remarks made by Dunphy on RTE Sport last Wednesday in which he implied that Messi was in decline, having failed to shine in Barca’s Champions League exit to Juventus.
Dunphy appeared in his regular role as a contributor on RTE Radio’s Game On programme on Monday night, with fellow analyst Alan Cawley ready and waiting to challenge the outspoken pundit’s “boo-boo” regarding the Argentine forward.
Dunphy, however, would not be moved, and instantly went on the attack to stand his ground:
“You got it all wrong. The first thing I said was that Barcelona as a team were gone and we won’t see that team again. The next thing I said, and we all agreed, was that Messi was still, even if he lost 10/15/20 per cent, a great player and I also said that I hoped he would come the Premier League and possibly Manchester City, it would be a fantastic thing.
“The other thing I said was Real Madrid, it wasn’t just Barcelona who were struggling, it was Real Madrid and they are struggling and anyone who watched last night will see that.
“Now, to misrepresent that, funny enough another RTE programme did this morning. People talking candidly about football and having really interesting discussions and some moron will say you said something you never said.”
Dunphy went on to flatly deny that he had said that Messi was finished or that the rest of the panel (including Richie Sadlier and Liam Brady) had a package ready to prove their point.
“No we didn’t say that either. What we said was that the Barcelona team that we have all loved for the last seven or eight years was no more. What we said about Messi was that he was diminished from what he had been as a great player.
“Now if you watched last night’s game, I don’t know whether you did or not or if you just watched the headlines.
“What can I do when you’re watching a televsion programme last week and you don’t remember what you saw? …. Get the tape [of the original comments] out…You should get a job on f**king Morning Ireland, you know. They were saying the same thing.
“You’re talking about something you allege that I said that I didn’t say. When you have a look at the tape you can apologise, because there’s a difference between saying Barcelona are gone as a force in European football, and saying Lionel Messi is finished.
“And, by the way, scoring two goals on Sunday night wouldn’t prove very much in the great scheme of things.”
The argument in full can be listened to below:
Dunphy’s original comments, meanwhile, in the immediate aftermath of Barcelona’s 0-0 draw (0-3 aggregate defeat) to Juventus last week can be found here:
Barcelona without Messi? Eamon Dunphy on the notion that Lionel Messi could end up playing in the Premier League for Manchester City pic.twitter.com/XqpQSnkxCe
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) April 19, 2017