Leo Messi is considered to be one of the nicest guys in football. Well, he was, until El Confidencial printed a rather damaging article about the player, seemingly confirming the long standing whispers about the forward and his tenancy to ‘bully’ his teammates.
First came the whispers of Messi and former Barcelona now Atletico Madrid forward David Villa not getting along, with Messi refusing to play with the Spanish International let alone pass to him and constantly berating him in the dressing room. Similar allegations surrounded Messi and Cristian Tello’s relationship and now a couple more of his younger team mates have gone to town with their comments.
Why, you may ask, have these rather unsavoury allegations not seen the light of day before? Omerta. Roughly translated as the ‘law of silence’ meaning if you replace ‘Vegas’ with ‘dressing room’, you pretty much get the picture. What happens in the dressing room, stays in the dressing room.
The players who apparently broke said Omerta are Spanish Under 19 duo Alejandro Grimaldo and Gerard Deulofeu, who told International colleagues a couple of the highlights – which could rival any of the goals scored by the Argentine for their headline making value.
Poor Cristian Tello comes in for a particularly hard time, allegedly being told:
“What are u doing? You’re new, you’re nobody, so pass me the ball, because you’re here to play for me.” [El Confidencial]
Young Tello, who looks devoid of confidence on the field, has apparently been reduced to tears by said remarks and to rival Wayne Rooney, feels ‘isolated and confused’ that none of his team mates have stepped in to defend him.
If Tello thought he had it bad, Alexis Sanchez has certainly gotten it in the neck, and after hearing what Messi said to the forward, Fernando Torres must be eternally grateful he never made the switch to the Camp Nou. El Confidencial claims Alexis was told:
“Seeing how bad you are, I don’t know how you cost so much. You don’t score enough, so pass me the ball.”
Of course, as with anything in the Spanish press, nothing can be taken at face value, and had these quotes been printed in Marca or AS, even Cristiano Ronaldo and his mother may have been hesitant to believe them – however, given both pro Madrid papers are too busy with their ‘free Iker’ propaganda campaign at the minute, it fell to El Confidencial to break the story.
With few Madrid leanings, the paper normally focuses on financial topics and is certainly not a ‘sport tabloid’ to speak of. Either way, given Messi has already had to deal with allegations of tax evasion and extra martial shenanigans this summer alone (his response to the latter was one even John Terry would have been proud of, claiming he had been photo shopped into compromising positions) the latest rumours will not exactly be received well.
Given Messi could teach Iker Casillas something on how to look disgruntled from the bench on occasions this season – especially in the Super Cup against Atletico Madrid, the arrival of Neymar could well throw up some even more interesting ‘quotes’ from the Argentine.
Will these rumours affect Messi on the field? Well sadly for his opponents, probably not. Does it dent his halo just that little bit further? Quite frankly yes. Will it keep us on the edge of our seats to see just how the Barcelona star reacts to Neymar crashing his party? You can bet your life on it.
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