Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu defended Dani Alves after the defender posted humorous video to bring a lighter side to the club’s current downturn in results.
Barca were knocked out of the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday after suffering a 2-0 (3-2 on aggregate) loss to Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid.
Alves posted a video on his Instagram account imitating his girlfriend Joana Sanz on Thursday, saying it was “just a game”.
The light-hearted message prompted criticism from Barca fans and officials over the Brazilian’s commitment to the club, but Bartomeu saw it in another light.
“Although it’s true that there are club members who have been offended, the video shows that the players have moved on [from the result] and are being positive and making jokes”, he said.
Bartomeu also called for calm after the loss to Atletico, with Barca still in the hunt to win back-to-back La Liga and Copa del Rey crowns.
“I ask for peace,” he said. “This is sport – you can win or lose, but you cannot always win. Given the pessimism surrounding the club, I ask for calm because the team is focused on our goals.
“We have only won the double [league and cup] six times in our history, which would be a spectacular achievement [this season], so we ask for support from the fans on Sunday [against Valencia].”
Barca are without a win in their last three league games and sit just three points ahead of second-placed Atletico with six games left to go.