Messi downplays Martino feud

The Barcelona star says he never had any intention of showing his discontent after being replaced against Real Sociedad, and has also hit back at claims he defied Pep Guardiola
Lionel Messi has insisted that he does not have any problems with Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino in the wake of his second-half substitution against Real Sociedad on Tuesday.

Goals from Neymar, Messi, Sergio Busquets and Marc Bartra ensured Barca made it six wins from six in a 4-1 win over Real Sociedad.

However, Messi showed obvious discontent at being replaced in the second half but has stressed that he never meant to disrespect Martino.

"I didn't mean to make any gesture when Martino took me off," Messi said on his official Facebook site.

"Nobody likes to be out, but we must accept it because it is the best for our team."

The 26-year-old also responded to recent claims by former New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe, who worked with former Barcelona players Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez, that he openly defied Pep Guardiola during the current Bayern Munich coach's time in charge at the Blaugrana and hinted at taking legal action.

Messi added: "What I will not accept is that certain media tell lies about any situation that happens around me."

The attacker has been in fine form for Barcelona so far this term, netting 10 goals in eight appearances.