Messi: Filipe not a dirty player

Lionel Messi says for the first time that Filipe Luis’ red-card tackle during Barcelona’s 2-1 win against Atletico Madrid “was not made in bad faith”.

Filipe was shown a straight red for a recklessly-high boot on Messi’s knee as Atleti ended the game at Camp Nou in January with nine men, and although the left-back’s three-match ban was later reduced to one, the Argentine feels his opponent did not set out to intentionally cause harm.

“It’s unusual to take a boot so high in the knee,” he told El Grafico.

“It was something which happened without any intent to cause harm, but it’s clear that the rules don’t allow these excesses.

“The committee made a decision [on reducing his ban] and I don’t believe [the tackle] was made in bad faith.

“I don’t like to talk about what happens on the pitch. Images show things which are difficult to determine, and you still can’t confirm what was intended in those which are clear, so why create controversy?”

Tags Filipe Luis Lionel Messi