Lionel Messi has slammed the Madrid Press for ‘attacking me, hitting me and taking advantage of my moment of weakness’ during his tax ordeal.
Messi was handed a suspended 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud back in July 2016, but the Barcelona talisman took issue with the manner in which the capital’s media covered the story, in an alleged dig at the likes of Marca and AS.
“I had a difficult year after all the mess with Hacienda,” he continued to Sport.
“It was tough. I didn’t fall into depression, but the way I was attacked, the things they said about me, my family, my dad, my people… It was tough. I felt very victimised, especially by Madrid.
“I was lucky to have the support of my people from Barcelona, Catalonia and the journalists here, and that made me a bit calmer.
“I think that was the order of events. Attack me, hit me, take advantage of my moment of weakness… It happened like that because I knew it was coming from Madrid.
“Did I watch the Champions League Final? Some of it, that’s the truth, not because I didn’t want to see it but because we were in Argentina and the time zones are different. I saw the highlights and everything that happened.
“Do we always want Madrid to lose? I just want to win. What the other teams do doesn’t interest me.
“As a Barcelona player, when you’re not in a competition, I never want our biggest rivals to win, but I want us to win first and foremost.
“Zidane’s exit? I was very surprised, I didn’t expect it and I don’t think anyone else did, although he’ll have his reasons.
“It’s also good to know when to leave. No-one can criticise him for anything, but I don’t know why [he left Madrid].”