‘Messi protected by Press & League’

Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis has claimed that Lionel Messi enjoys preferential treatment from both La Liga and the Spanish Press.

Filipe suffered Messi’s wrath when he was shown a straight red card for an excessive challenge on the Argentine during Atleti’s 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in January, and he feels he was deliberately victimised due to his opponent’s reputation.

“I admit it was a red card, the referee wasn’t wrong,” he told TV Esporte Interativo.

“I sought the ball but very aggressively, with a high foot, and Leo was there. It was a fair red, I left the pitch, served a ban and that’s it.

“It’s a phase of play which happens in every game, but it happened on Messi.

“He’s protected by the Press and by the League. I believe they don’t want one of their best players of all time to be injured and not play.

“Still, I slept easily because I didn’t want to hurt him at any time.

“[On the rematch], I approach every game with the same intensity and try not to be so aggressive in games like these.

“Many players enter the pitch just to change shirts, but I don’t.

“If you give Messi a metre, he’ll snatch the ball and leave you behind. My objective is to be intense so he can’t do anything.”

Tags Filipe Luis Lionel Messi