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Lionel Messi

Messi doesn’t get booked for dissent, grumbles Verratti

15:58 GMT 19/03/2018
Lionel Messi, Barcelona, referee, 17/18
The 25-year-old received a high-profile red card for talking back to an official in the Champions League and has complained about double standards

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has complained about what he perceives to be double standards in refereeing, arguing that Lionel Messi rarely gets booked for dissent.

The Italy international midfielder picked up his 50th booking in Ligue 1 on Sunday against Nice but was the high-profile recipient of a red card against Real Madrid in the Champions League earlier this month.

He was dismissed for arguing with the referee – a favourite reason for being cautioned by the fiery midfielder. While it has drawn criticism from fans, Verratti has defended himself.

“It was a bad reaction but I didn't insult anybody, whereas Messi goes around pointing his finger in the referee's face and doesn't even get punished,” he told Gazzette dello Sport .

“But anyway, I need to improve

“I got it wrong against Real, but it was a red card out of frustration and sometimes referees could be more tolerant.”

Verratti has also committed his future to PSG in the face of speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona.

“I've spoken with my management and they know what I think, and it is all clear. I've decided to stay,” he insisted.

The 25-year-old has made 237 appearances for the Parisian club since he arrived in the French capital in the summer of 2012 from Pescara.