A frustrated Lionel Messi has said he is tired of being blamed for problems at Barcelona after being accused by former Antoine Griezmann agent of making life difficult for the club’s French striker.
Eric Olhats had accused Messi of having too much control at Barcelona, saying his ‘reign of terror’ had made it difficult for Griezmann to adapt since his arrival last year.
Messi returned to Barcelona from his international duties with Argentina on Wednesday when he was approached by reporters at the airport.
“The truth is I’m a little tired of always being the problem for everything at the club,” Messi told them. “In addition, after a flight of 15 hours, the tax authorities were waiting for me. This is madness.
One year away from his contract, Messi tried to activate a contentious clause to leave Barcelona for free, but ultimately decided to stay because he didn’t want to face a legal battle with the club.
Barcelona have been in turmoil since Bayern Munich humiliated them 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-finals last season. Josep Maria Bartomeu stepped down as president last month.
Messi has also had run-ins with Spain’s tax authorities in recent years.
He was sentenced to 21 months in prison in 2016 and ordered to pay a fine of 2 million euros after being convicted of defrauding the Spanish government of 4.2 million euros on income from rights to the image.
However, he did not serve any prison sentence after exchanging his sentence for a fine of € 250,000, because in Spain, defendants without prior conviction are allowed to serve a sentence of less than two years on probation.