Lionel Messi has explained why he spoke out about the current speculation engulfing Barcelona.
Messi spoke to Barca’s TV station amid reports that he had fallen out with coach Luis Enrique. He was also quick to dismiss reports that he could leave the club and join Manchester City or Chelsea
“It was time to put a stop to all of this and I was keen to speak out because the atmosphere in the dressing room had deteriorated,” said Messi.
“Everyone was annoyed that things were being published that were not true. We are used to information being leaked to the press because that’s what it’s like at Barcelona.
“But the situation was bad and none of us want to see false information or misunderstandings published, as it damages team morale.
“I wanted to talk about it. I’ve never come out and denied anything before but I thought it was the right moment to stop this. I’m angry that what has been said is not the truth.”
Messi had spoken earlier in the week about the rumours surrounding his future at Barcelona.
“I have never demanded anything to stay because I don’t have any intention of going,” he said. “I heard people say that my dad had spoken to Chelsea, to City … it’s all lies.
“I heard all sorts of things said. I never come out and deny [stories] but this time I am. It has been said that I have pushed out lots of people … Eto’o, Ibrahimovic, Bojan, Guardiola … [and] I didn’t ask them to sack our manager.
“It’s not good for people to look for rivalry between me and Luis Enrique because there isn’t any.
“It hurts because it comes from people who [supposedly] love Barcelona. It’s people who want to hurt the club – and this time it did not come from Madrid, like other times, it has come from here.
Messi also rejected suggestions he would be announcing his retirement from international football and dismissed stories he idn’t get on with Carlos Tevez.
“I’ll always be there for the team and I don’t need to explain myself,” he added. No, I haven’t spoken to [Argentina boss] Tata Martino and I’ll be available whenever he wants me.
“I’ve never had any problems with Carlos and we are all delighted he is back with the national side.
“In football it’s hard to talk about injustices, yet I believe Argentina deserves to win something for the sporting qualities and humanity this current group of players has shown.”