The former Bayern Munich CEO stated this as he praised his former club over the way Bayern beat Barcelona 3-0 at the "Nou Camp" in their opening group game of the 2021/22 UEFA champions league game.
He disclosed that Barcelona look different without Messi, a striker who has been a key figure for the club in the last two decades.
"They (Bayern) played outstandingly well and deserved the win.
"It's too early to talk about favourites. The competition only really starts with the knockout phase.
"If you look at the team, the way they (Barcelona) performed tactically. Without Messi, their souls have been ripped out. They are facing difficult times.
"It was imperative to sell him. The Spanish league has scored an own-goal with him", he told German publication Bild.
According to Spanish football news channel, El Chiringuito TV, there was a "very tense meeting" between Barcelona president, Joan Laporta and manager, Ronaldo Koeman after the club's defeat on Tuesday night.
The report added that the Catalan Giants may already have a possible successor lined up should Koeman be relieved of his duties as manager, with Johan Cruyff's son, Jordi tipped to come in as interim manager.
Loinel Messi is currently playing for French club, Paris Saint German and has not scored any goal since his sign-in into the club.
However, the team have remained unbeaten in their league since he came and had a draw with Club Brugge in their last UEFA champions league match.
With Messi no longer in his former club, how do you think Barcelona will scale through this season's Spanish and UEFA champions leagues?.
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