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The 25-year-old superstar hit back at suggestions that there is a serious rift between the Barcelona pair, saying Saturday's incident was just "part of football."

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has hit out at claims that there is a rift between him and teammate David Villa, insisting that it was "quite the opposite."

Both Messi and Villa featured in Barcelona's 2-0 victory over Granada on Saturday, with television replays showing the Argentina international berating his teammate after the collapse of an attacking move.

Nevertheless, the 25-year-old sought to play down rumours of a bust-up, and explained that it was in the heat of the moment, with the relationship between the two still positive.

"People shouldn't look for a problem where there isn't one. We've got a spectacular squad. These things are part of football, with the tension of wanting to score to make everything easier and win," Messi told the club's official TV channel.

"It happens in training, and in matches as well. I haven't got any problems with El Guaje [Villa's nickname], quite the opposite. These things show the character of the team, to want to win and keep on playing well. We get heated, because we want the best, and the tension makes you react like that."
 
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