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

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.

The Holland winger, 25, said in an interview with Dutch news website “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