However, the statement was somewhat barbed, suggesting Messi and his teammates did not need to be asked by the club’s hierarchy to take the deduction.
“A lot has been written and said about the FC Barcelona first team in regards to the player salaries during this state of emergency,” said the statement, which Messi posted on behalf of the squad.
“Before anything, we want to clear up that our desire was always to have a salary reduction that seems appropriate because we understand perfectly that it’s an exceptional situation and we’re the first ones who ALWAYS have helped the club when it’s asked us.
“A lot of times we’ve done this of our own accord, in other moments where we deemed it necessary and important.”
“It never ceases to surprise us that within the club there are people who want to put us in a bad light and try to pressure us to do something which we were always clear that we’d do.”
The statement said the delay in the announcement was simply due to the players finding the best solution that was “really going to help the club but also the most affected in this situation.”
Spain has become one of the countries most affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak with more than 80,000 cases and 6,803 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University, putting the healthcare system under immense strain.
In February, the 32-year-old Argentine criticized the club’s Sporting Director Eric Abidal for accusing the players of not working hard enough under former coach Ernesto Valverde.
The money is set to go toward both treating infected patients and researching Covid-19.
“Very soon we’ll be able to come out of this and we’ll all be together,” Messi added, in a message to fans, as part of Monday’s Instagram post
Last week, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski also donated €1 million to help fight the outbreak in Germany.