Messi hits back at BarcelonaAgencies . Barcelona
Lionel Messi has accused Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus of being a businessman who ‘knows nothing about football’, while also defending his father Jorge from continuing accusations of involvement in the laundering of drug money.
Faus said recently he saw no reason why Barca should improve ‘this gentleman’s’ contract ‘every six months’, amid speculation that the Blaugrana board were unhappy with Messi senior’s attempts to shake more money out of the club.
Messi junior told RAC1 that there had been no demand for a new contract, while suggesting that Faus and his fellow Barca directors were not up to their jobs.
‘Mr Faus is someone who knows nothing about football, and wants to run Barca like it was a business, which it is not,’ Messi said. ‘Barca is the best team in the world, and deserves to be represented by the best directors. And I remind him that neither I nor anyone from my camp have asked for a new contract—and he knows that well.’
The Argentina captain also said that media reports linking his family to criminal activity were upsetting, and that he trusted completely his father to look after his off the field affairs.
In his first personal reaction to the allegations that emerged on Monday, the striker insisted the benefit matches were ‘100 per cent charitable’.
‘I deeply regret what is being said not only about me but about people I love such as my dad and players who are my friends,’ the Argentine international told Spanish radio station Rac1.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported on Monday that the player’s father Jorge Messi is suspected of being involved in an operation to launder Colombian drug money through charity football matches featuring Messi and some of his Barcelona team-mates.
‘What we do in those matches is 100 per cent charitable,’ Lionel Messi said in the radio interview.
Spain’s police and the interior ministry say a Colombian promoter is suspected of laundering drug money through concerts and sporting events in Spain, South America and the United States.
But they say there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Messi, his family or other players who featured in matches organised by the Colombian promoter at the centre of the affair.
Barcelona’s president Sandro Rosell on Thursday branded the reports an ‘attack’ on Messi’s family.
Messi was speaking from Argentina where he is recovering from a hamstring injury that is sidelining him from the Barca squad until the new year.
‘I am focussing mentally on my recovery and I am not thinking about anything else, other than getting back to the highest level of fitness possible,’ he said.
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