Xavi Hernandez claims the spotlight on Lionel Messi’s tax affairs is another case of the media punishing Barcelona for being successful.
Messi and his father Jorge stand accused of defrauding the Spanish state to the tune of €4.1m, while Argentina legend Diego Maradona accused his countryman of lacking personality, but Xavi believes the timing of such stories are deliberate.
“Messi has a good heart, unlike how some people want to portray him,” the Blaugrana legend, now at Al Sadd, told ElNacional.cat.
“He’s the best around, in the world and in history. It’s incredible in a team game that one player can be so decisive. If he’s happy, Barca have great potential to keep winning.
“[On Messi’s tax trial], it can affect you because it won’t let you rest easy, but when the team were doing badly, no-one talked about Villaratos [referring to allegations of RFEF chief Angel Maria Villar manipulating refereeing decisions], doping or judgments.
“I won’t say that justice doesn’t have reason, but it always happens when Barca are doing well.
“[On his future], I prefer coaching to office work, but for now I’ll play for two more years and then we’ll see.”