FC Barcelona have been busy trimming down their squad this summer, and some of their tactics have not been received well. Matheus Fernandes was let go last month despite having a valid contract until 2024.

The Brazilian arrived at the Camp Nou in January 2020, and believed that he had a rock-solid contract that should keep him there for at least another three seasons. However, he was shocked to find out that the club prematurely terminated his contract this summer, and did not negotiate a transfer for him elsewhere.

Matheus did not get much first team action during his first season with the Blaugrana, but he told Globoesporte that he did not expect to be treated so badly since his arrival in Catalunya. "It was bad, it was ugly from the club. As a child I always dreamed of playing for Barcelona," he said.

"When I arrived there, they didn't treat me like a footballer. I told them that they weren't treating me like a Barcelona player," he added, and admitted that he had been "annoyed" by the way things have gone during his short stay with the La Liga outfit

Matheus is only one of the players that the club have decided to take off their wage bill this summer, in an attempt to slash their expenditure and meet La Liga Santander's salary cap.

"Regardless of whether I earn a lot or little, whether the club have done this or that, I am a Barcelona player. Whether I play or not depends on me, on the club and on the other players, but I want them to treat me the same," he said, before relaying the story of how he found out that the club had ended his contract.

"I had no idea about it, and when I received the message I couldn't believe it. I was at home, I was about to go out with my wife when a message from the club arrived, asking if I had the same email," he shared.

"I told them yes and then I received it. I didn't really understand it. I sent it to my agent and to my lawyer. They said that it was my dismissal," he explained, while still clearly bewildered by the club's actions. He said that there was not even any call or conversation about the decision.

As such, Matheus is expected to sue Barcelona for wrongful termination of his contract. He has not yet revealed what his plans are for the coming season, after having been left out to dry without a club. Apart from settling issues with his former employers, his agent will now be busy finding him a new club for the coming season.

The Brazilian shared how disillusioned he was after joining Barcelona, and several other players are starting to find themselves in similar situations this summer. "Looking at the club from the outside I thought one thing and when I arrived they treated me differently. I don't know if that happens with everyone, but a lot of negative things happened to me."

Joan Laporta
Barcelona president Joan Laporta LLUIS GENE/AFP