Setien revealed this in an interview with former Real Madrid and Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, explaining the difficulty of managing a player like Messi, who is a winner of six Ballon d’Or awards.
Setien said, “I think Messi is the best of all time. There have been other great players who have been great, but the continuity that this boy has had throughout the years has not been had by anyone.
“Leo is difficult to manage. Who am I to change him! If they have accepted him as he is for years and have not changed him.
“There’s another facet beyond just the player and it’s more difficult to manage. Much more difficult. It’s something inherent in many athletes that can be seen in the Michael Jordan documentary (“The Last Dance”). You see things you don’t expect.
“He’s very reserved but he makes you see the things that he wants. He doesn’t talk much.”
Setien further said, “After leaving what I am clear on is that at certain times I should have made other decisions, but there’s something above you: the club.
“And it is above the president, the player, the coach. It’s the club and the fans. They are the ones to whom you owe the greatest respect, and you have to do what is most convenient for the club as a whole.”
Setien took over Barca in January after the club had sacked Ernesto Valverde.