Tuesday, October 4, 2022

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Martin Braithwaite tells Barcelona to ‘think about people’s mental health’ after his reckless exit.

Martin Braithwaite has spoken out in Barcelona about how he was treated at the club before his departure earlier this month.

The Catalan giants were keen for the striker to leave in the summer amid their ongoing financial struggles.

Braithwaite had a contract until 2024 at the Nou Camp and rejected Barca’s offer to end his deal because he wanted his remaining two-year salary paid in full.

The 31-year-old was ostracized by Xavi and left out of the matchday squad for the first three LaLiga games this season after playing just 10 minutes of league football in 2022.

An agreement was eventually reached to rip up Braithwaite’s contract and he joined city rivals Espanyol on deadline day on a three-year deal.

Speaking to Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, he took aim at how his time at Camp Nou ended.

“Did I take it as bullying, I don’t really know,” Braithwaite said. “But I think it’s important to always think about the mental health of others.

‘It’s just how it is. I know how things work in this world. Unfortunately, football is also a business.”

Braithwaite came as a shock from Leganes for Barcelona in February 2020, especially having played for Middlesbrough in the Championship just a year earlier.

But after scoring 10 goals in 58 games for Barca, the Denmark international believes he has proved his doubters wrong.

He started last season with two goals and an assist in the opening game against Real Sociedad but only suffered a knee injury in the third game of the season.

A five-month hiatus on the touchline meant Barca dropped Ronald Koeman for Xavi when Braithwaite recovered and the forward says he was never liked by the Spaniard.

“In many ways I can only chuckle a little at all the things that have happened behind the scenes. I think I have refuted many critics. I was top scorer last season before I got injured.

“But then there was a change of coach, he wanted something different and that’s part of football life.

“Xavi didn’t believe in my abilities so I had to leave. I’ve known for a long time that the coach doesn’t believe in me and that I have to leave Barcelona.”

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