Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has alluded to a campaign against both the Catalan club and Lionel Messi by the Madrid media.
Messi’s father was the subject of unsubstantiated reports in a national newspaper earlier this week that linked him with alleged criminal activity, but Cesc says such stories are merely part of a propaganda ploy to unsettle both Barca and the Argentine forward.
"Something is happening,” the former Arsenal captain told sports show Jugones on La Sexta. “There are people taking advantage to say things they shouldn't, with no facts or proof.
“After six years of praise, people start to get bored and look for other things, as if there needs to be a change in who is the best. But Leo is [the best], and he does his talking on the pitch - and that’s where he does it best."
Cesc also spoke of an alleged campaign by the Madrid media in favour of Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo and in detriment to Messi ahead of next month’s Ballon d’Or.
"As soon as he gets injured, it seems as if he has done nothing,” the Catalan complained. “It's like they need another player to mark the rhythm of world football.
"But I have played with him and I have played against him, and I don't think we will see another player like Messi in many, many years."