The great Lionel Messi led his home country of Argentina to a 3-0 win over Colombia on Tuesday night during a World Cup qualifier, breaking a four-game winless streak. After the match, the Barcelona striker stated that he and his teammates will no longer be speaking to press after being disrespected by the media by false accusations.
Accusations were made regarding teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi, 31, who did not make the squad because he was “found to be smoking cannabis at the team’s training camp ahead of the match.” Following the accusations, the Hebei China Fortune striker has vowed to take legal action against the reporter for his false claims that have hurt his family and jeopardized his job. Messi apologized to reporters in attendance who had nothing to do with the rumors but noted that it is not the first time in which the media has been involved in a player’s personal life. Read Messi’s full statement below.
“We’re here to let you know that we will no longer be communicating with the press. The accusations that were made towards Lavezzi were huge. We regret that it has to be this way but we have no other choice. We know that many of you don’t play that game. We were accused a lot. No respect was being shown and we never said anything. But this accusation against Lavezzi was it. If we don’t stop it today, we’ll never stop it. We know that you will continue to criticize us, that’s fine. However, some got into our personal lives. We wanted to say this in front of everyone and not release a statement. We didn’t want to hide from anyone. These past two weeks were filled with personal aggression, not football criticism. You can criticize us for winning or losing, but when you get personal we will draw the line.”