Lionel Messi has responded to his reports in the Spanish press that he made a gesture after being substituted in Barcelona's 4-1 home victory over Real Sociedad, claiming that some portions of the media had been "telling lies".
The forward, who had scored in the win, was taken off with nine minutes remaining by head coach Gerardo Martino, and Madrid-based sports newspaper AS reported that Messi was angry with Martino for substituting him.
"Nobody likes to be replaced, but we must accept it because it is the best for our team," Messi wrote on his Facebook page after the match.
"What I will not accept is that certain media tell lies about any situation that happens around me."
Martino told reporters after the match: "Messi never wants to be subbed off, but it's my task to take care of him. We need him at end of season as well as now."
It was the first time that Messi and recent signing, Neymar, had both scored for Barca scored in the same game, after the £49m transfer from Santos opened the scoring in the rout at the Nou Camp.
Messi has carried on his impressive form into this season, scoring seven goals in La Liga as Barcelona sit top of the division on goal difference ahead of Atletico Madrid. Both clubs have won all six of their league matches this season.Reuse content