Italy and Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti has claimed that Lionel Messi gets special treatment from referees.
Verratti, 25, was sent off after receiving his second yellow card against Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League second-leg round of 16 clash giants for arguing with the referee.
Speaking with La Gazetta dello Sport, he said: “I got it wrong against Real, but it was a red card out of frustration and sometimes referees could be more tolerant.
“It was a bad reaction but I didn’t insult anybody, whereas Messi goes around pointing his finger in the referee’s face and doesn’t even get punished.
“But anyway, I need to improve.”
The diminutive midfield ace also went on to clarify reports that he is about to dump PSG for Barcelona.
“I read that [agent Mino] Raiola had offered me to Barcelona. It’s a lie. I’ve spoken with my management and they know what I think, and it is clear. I’ve decided to stay.
“I’m utterly intent on winning with PSG, who gave me this opportunity to grow also as a man, and I share in an ambitious project.
“I hope my teammates also think like this because one defeat (to Real) cannot erase everything. If we are to reach great objectives then we need great players. It’s so much easier with Neymar.”