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Messi in race row

World Leagues

Lionel Messi has been accused of racism after former Everton winger Royston Drenthe claimed the Barcelona star called him a “negro”.

The World Player of the Year is accused of making the remarks when Drenthe came up against the Catalan club while on loan for Spanish side Hercules last season.

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi (second, left) argues with Hercules' Royston Drenthe (left).

The Holland winger, 25, said in an interview with Dutch news website Nu.nl: “I played against him (Messi) many times and we always have problems with each other. You know what bothers me so? That tone with which he always says “negro, negro”. I understand that “negro” in South America is very common, but we cannot stand it.

“When Hercules played Barcelona, during the game I had a small altercation with him. He gave me a hand in the match and again said a few times, ‘Hola negro’.”

Messi has yet to respond to the controversial claims, but Barcelona strongly refuted them. – Daily Mail

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