Martin Braithwaite breaks silence as he blasts Barcelona for brutal treatment

Martin Braithwaite has slammed his treatment by Barcelona and accused the club of not considering his mental health.

The Denmark international striker joined Catalan rivals Espanyol after Barca paid Braithwaite – their ‘richest player’ – a one-off payment of €400k (£345k) to terminate his contract at the Camp Nou.

The club had been desperately trying to offload him over the summer months but had to accept hat he would be leaving the club as a free agent after the two had come to an agreement over the termination of his deal.

It means that Braithwaite’s time at the Camp Nou cost the club just shy of €30million, as they signed the player in an €18million transfer from Leganes in February 2020 with the Denmark international earning €4million per annum at the club.

Yet Braithwaite’s final few months at the club did not go smoothly as Barca looked to make him an outcast as they pressurised him to leave. They wanted fringe players to forego the remainder of their contracts in order to register their seven new summer arrivals.

The former Middlesbrough striker has now accused Barcelona of not thinking as their players as being human and instead looking at them solely through the lens of a being a ruthless business.

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Martin Braithwaite is Barcelona's 'richest player' due to his off-field interests

Braithwaite had been Barcelona’s ‘richest player’ due to his off-field interests

Braithwaite explained in an interview with Danish media outlet Ekstra Bladet : “Did I take it as bullying, I actually don’t know. But I think it’s important that you always think about other people’s mental health. That’s the way it is. I know how things work in this world. Unfortunately, football is also a business.

“In many ways, I can only smile a little at all the things that have taken place behind the scenes. I think I have disproved many critics. I was top scorer last season before I got injured. But then there was a change of coach, he wanted something else, and that is part of football life.

“Xavi didn’t believe in my abilities, so I had to leave. I had known for a long time that the coach did not believe in me and that I had to move on from Barcelona.”

The striker struggled for a regular starting spot at Barca across his time with the club, scoring 10 goals across 58 appearances – and has featured since once under boss Xavi since his appointment in November 2021.

Braithwaite – who has bagged two goals in his opening three games for his new club – added: “I am incredibly happy about the switch to Espanyol, I have settled in quickly, and the project I am part of suits me very well.”

“When I play at Barca next time, I want to go on the pitch to win. How the fans react, I can’t control. It is completely out of my hands.”

One of the most eye-catching details of Braithwaite’s stay at the Camp Nou was that – following Lionel Messi’s departure from the club in the summer of 2021 – he had become the richest player in the first-team squad.

Braithwaite had been earning around £4million per season at the Camp Nou, but that represents only a fraction of the former Middlesbrough striker’s wealth portfolio. The Danish international boasts an impressive portfolio of investments within the real estate, fashion and restaurant industries.

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