The Madrid press released several reports Wednesday following the match between Real Madrid and Barcelona on the conduct of one player in particular. This time they are targeting none other than the best player in the world, FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (25).
According to La Sexta, Messi yelled at Real Madrid Assistant Manager Aitor Karanka immediately following the match at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday. According to the TV network Messi said: “What are you looking at, fool? You’re just a puppet of Mourinho.” The incident remained unconfirmed by actual, named sources until Friday when José Callejón confirmed the comments directed at Karanka during a press conference.
“Yeah, the Mourinho puppet comment is something (Messi) said. I heard it because I was coming up from behind Karanka,” Callejón said.
Never one to be out done in terms of sensationalist reporting, Punto Pelota reported another incident. Messi allegedly waited on Madrid defender Álvaro Arbeloa (30) in the Bernabéu parking lot. According to the TV show, the Argentine magician verbally assaulted Arbeloa, accompanied by his wife, as he tried to drive away after the game. The show said Messi called him a “fool” and he “will be waiting in Barcelona.” Allegedly a Barcelona staff member had to drag Messi away.
Although Messi had to cope with a lot of physical challenges during the game, especially from Arbeloa and midfielder Xabi Alonso (31), it seems very unlikely that this really occurred. Interestingly enough, AS and Marca both featured words like “grazing” and “touches” to describe the blatant slaps delivered to Messi’s face at one point during the match.
Despite the confirmation following the match by Callejón, Punto Pelota, known in Spain for its gossip and untrustworthy reports, is basing its accusations solely on unnamed sources close to the club or unnamed journalists.
As per usual after El Clásico there are numerous reports that have nothing to do with football. It seems very unlikely that the parking lot incident is true since they are coming from these sources and there is no footage or pictures available. This is not the first (nor probably the last) time the Madrid-based press tries to damage the image of FC Barcelona and its players.