Wednesday November 8 2017
Messi: ‘I never blocked Icardi’

Lionel Messi insists he never blocked Inter captain Mauro Icardi from the Argentina squad - “it’s a lie, I don’t run the national team”.

The Nerazzurri striker was repeatedly snubbed by the Albiceleste, with rumours that Messi’s friendship with Maxi Lopez was the reason.

Icardi got together with Lopez’s ex-wife when they were teammates at Sampdoria, with the latter still refusing to shake Icardi’s hand before Serie A games.

“It was said that I didn’t want Icardi coming to the national team, but I’ve never decided if a player comes or not,” Messi insisted, speaking to Olé.

“Now it’s coming out that all that was said was a lie. I never said I didn’t want Icardi in the national team, nor did I make anyone leave other players out.

“Telling great players that they’re only playing because they’re Messi’s friend is disrespectful, and it’s also a total lie because I don’t run the national team.”

Juventus forward Paulo Dybala has said he finds it difficult to play with Messi, as they take up similar positions, but that’s not an issue for the Barcelona star.

“There’s nothing to clarify with Dybala, I knew what he meant from the first moment.”