Sport Soccer

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Lionel Messi accused of racially abusing Everton's Royston Drenthe while at Real Madrid

Lionel Messi. Photo: Getty Images
Lionel Messi. Photo: Getty Images

ROYSTON Drenthe, Everton's on-loan midfielder, has revealed how Barcelona striker Lionel Messi racially abused him while the Dutchman played for Real Madrid.

‘‘I played against him many times and we always have problems with each other," Drenthe said in an interview with a Dutch website. 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.

"You know what bothers me so? That tone with which he always says, 'negro, negro'," Drenthe added. "I understand that negro in South America is very common, but we can not stand it.

"Mahamadou Diarra, my team-mate at Real, could explode if 'negro' was aimed at him. The Argentinean Gabriel Heinze and Gonzalo Higuain said it initially on the training ground, but they were stopped.

"When Hércules played Barcelona, during the game I had a small altercation with him. He gave me a hand in the match and again said a few times, 'hola negro'."

Meanwhile, the 25 year-old, who is contracted to Real but failed to establish himself at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium before he was loaned out, first to Spanish side Hércules and then Everton, wants to return to Holland.

Drenthe has spent this season with David Moyes's Everton and, despite impressing in patches, his time on Merseyside has been soured after he was dropped for the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool due to disciplinary reasons, and has not been picked since.

With his future now up in the air, Drenthe has admitted he wants to return to his home-town club Feyenoord, who have qualified for the Champions League, claiming he would even call them to initiate a move.

"I want to do what I like and that's play football. In addition Rotterdam is my city," he said.

"Feyenoord have not called me yet, but of course I would not mind if they did.

"Maybe I'll call them myself."

Drenthe left Feyenoord for Madrid in 2007, joining alongside fellow Holland international Wesley Sneijder, for a reported fee of €14 million

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