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In the Media

article imageSoccer: Drenthe accuses Barca ace Messi of calling him 'negro'

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By Yukio Strachan
May 11, 2012 in Sports
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Real Madrid winger Royston Drenthe, currently on loan at Everton, has claimed Barcelona striker Lionel Messi repeatedly referred to him as "negro" during his time in Spain.
"We played against each other a lot, and we always had problems," he told Dutch magazine Helden, according to ESPN. "You know what really bothers me? That tone with which he always called me 'negro, negro'."
The reports mirror the incident between Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez earlier this season after the Liverpool striker was accused of racially abusing the Manchester United defender, the Telegraph reports. The term "negro" does not necessarily carry negative connotations in South American countries.
"I understand that it is very common in South America, but we cannot stand it," he added. "Mahamadou Diarra, my team-mate at Real, would become furious when Gabriel Heinze and Gonzalo Higuain initially called him 'negro', but they soon stopped.
"When I played against Barcelona with Hercules, I had the same problems with Messi again. Before the match, he gave me a hand and said, 'Hola, negro'. He didn't shake my hand again after the match. I don't think he'll invite me to his birthday party."
But, in a statement issued on Thursday, Barcelona said: "The player has always shown a maximum respect and sportsmanship towards his rivals, something which has been recognised by his fellow professionals many times, and we are sure that any accusations to the contrary are well wide of the mark. His behaviour throughout his career has always been exemplary.''
According to Yahoo! Sports, this isn't the first time a Barcelona player has been accused of using racial slurs against a Real Madrid player, Sergio Busquets was accused of calling Real Madrid defender Marcelo a "monkey" last year.
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