Tired of being blamed for everything at Barcelona: Lionel Messi

(REUTERS): Frustrated footballer Lionel Messi has asserted that he was tired of being blamed for problems at Barcelona after he was accused by former agent of Antoine Griezmann accused of making life difficult for the French striker at the La Liga club.

Eric Olhats had accused Messi of having too much control at the club, saying his reign of terror had made life difficult for Griezmann to adapt since his arrival last year. Messi returned to Barcelona from international duty with Argentina on Wednesday.

Talking to journalists, Messi said, “The truth is that I’m a little tired of always being the problem for everything at the club,” adding, “On top of that, after a 15-hour flight, I had the tax authorities waiting for me. It’s madness.”

With one year left on his contract, Messi tried to leave Barcelona but eventually decided to stay as he did not want to face a legal battle with the club. Barcelona has been in turmoil since Bayern Munich humiliated the Spanish side 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-finals last season.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned last month ahead of a vote of no confidence. He was handed a 21-month prison sentence in 2016 and ordered to pay a fine of $2.37 million for defrauding the Spanish government over income earned from image rights.

However, the 33-year-old did not serve any jail time after exchanging his sentence for a 250,000 euros fine, as in Spain defendants without a previous conviction are permitted to serve any sentence of under two years on probation.