A former Real Madrid player has come out claiming that Lionel Messi racially abused him – is this true?
Former Real Madrid star and outgoing Everton loanee Royston Drenthe has accused Barcelona star Lionel Messi of using racist language when the pair played each other in Spain.
Drenthe was appearing on loan at Hercules at the time, with the Holland international accusing Messi of calling him a “negro” during the La Liga encounter.
The revelation came during an interview Drenthe gave with Dutch news website Nu.nl. Drenthe said: “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 can not stand it.
“Mahamadou Diarra, my team-mate at Real, could explode if ‘negro’ was aimed at him. The Argentinean Gabriel Heinze and Gonzalo Higuain said it initially on the training ground, but they were stopped.
“When Hercules [the team Drenthe spent a year on loan with last season] played Barcelona, during the game I had a small altercation with him [Messi]. He gave me a hand in the match and again said a few times, ‘hola negro’.”