Lionel Messi 'tired of always being the problem' at Barcelona

Lionel Messi: "The truth is that I'm a little tired of always being the problem for everything at the club. On top of that, after a 15-hour flight, I had the tax authorities waiting for me. It's madness"

Lionel Messi
Image: Lionel Messi looked set to leave Barcelona in the summer but has remained into the final year of his contract

Lionel Messi says he is tired of being blamed for problems at Barcelona after he was accused by Antoine Griezmann's former agent of making life difficult for the French striker at the La Liga club.

Eric Olhats had accused Messi of having too much control at the club, saying his "reign of terror" had made life difficult for Griezmann to adapt since his arrival last year.

Messi returned to Barcelona from international duty with Argentina on Wednesday where he was met by reporters at the airport.

"The truth is that I'm a little tired of always being the problem for everything at the club," Messi was quoted as saying by Spanish media.

"On top of that, after a 15-hour flight, I had the tax authorities waiting for me. It's madness."

With one year left on his contract, Messi tried to activate a disputed clause to leave Barcelona for free in the off-season, but eventually decided to stay as he did not want to face a legal battle with the club.

Pep Guardiola with Lionel Messi in 2011 2:45
Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font exclusively told Sky Sports News in October he wants to bring Pep Guardiola back to the club to convince Messi to stay

Barcelona have been in turmoil since Bayern Munich humiliated the Spanish side 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-finals last season. Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned last month ahead of a vote of no confidence.

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Messi has also had his run-ins with the Spanish tax authorities in recent years.

He was handed a 21-month prison sentence in 2016 and ordered to pay a fine of 2m euros (£1.8m) for defrauding the Spanish government of 4.2m euros over income earned from image rights.

However, the 33-year-old did not serve any jail time after exchanging his sentence for a 250,000 euros fine, as in Spain defendants without a previous conviction are permitted to serve any sentence of under two years on probation

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