Messi: ‘I had to speak out’

Lionel Messi has told of the recent unrest at Barcelona and claims he had to speak out to put the record straight.

The Argentine explained his decision to go public in an interview with ESPN, maintaining that the atmosphere within the club at the Camp Nou had worsened over a period of time.

“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,” revealed 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 also rejected suggestions he would be announcing his retirement from international football and dismissed stories he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Carlos Tevez.

“It’s not true I want to quit the Argentine national side. I have never missed a call-up and have always wanted to be there.

“I’ll always be there for the team and I don’t need to explain myself. 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.”

Tags Luis Enrique Messi