Messi 'tired' of being target for blame at Barca

Sports | REUTERS 20 Nov 2020

A frustrated Lionel Messi has sounded off about being blamed for problems at Barcelona.

He was accused recently of conducting a "reign of terror" at Barcelona and making life hard for French striker Antoine Griezmann since his arrival last year.

Messi, 33, landed in Barcelona from international duty with Argentina on Wednesday and was mobbed.

"I'm a little tired of always being the problem for everything at the club," he said. "On top of that, after a 15-hour flight I had the tax authorities waiting for me. It's madness."

With a year left on his contract, Messi tried to activate a clause to leave Barca free in the off-season but stayed to avoid a legal fight.

Barca have been in turmoil since Bayern Munich humiliated them 8-2 in the Champions League.

And club president Josep Maria Bartomeu quit to head off a vote of no confidence.

Messi has also had run-ins with tax authorities.

He was handed a 21-month prison term in 2016 and fined for defrauding the government of money from image rights. But he did not serve prison time after a payment and probation deal.

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