Messi denies accusations of disrespect


Neymar scored his first La Liga goal, and Messi, Sergio Busquets and Marc Bartra added their names to the scoresheet to hand Barcelona a 4-1 victory, their sixth win in six matches.

Martino hauled Messi 10 minutes from time for Sergi Roberto, and the 26-year-old Argentine star, who has 10 goals in eight matches for Barca this season, made his displeasure plain.

However, he has since insisted he meant no disrespect to the coach.

“I didn’t mean to make any gesture when Martino took me off,” Messi said on his official Facebook page.

“Nobody likes to be out, but we must accept it because it is the best for our team.”

He added: “What I will not accept is that certain media tell lies about any situation that happens around me.”

The statement appears to be a reaction to recent claims by former New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe that he openly defied Pep Guardiola in front of his teammates in the 2008/09 season.

Backe claims that Messi interrupted Guardiola’s pre-match talk to ask for a Coca Cola. When Guardiola told him he could not drink that kind of drink before a match, Messi reportedly stood up, picked up a Coke and drank it anyway.