After being sent off for dissent against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League recently, Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti has now claimed that FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi does what he likes with referees without punishment.
The Italian was given his marching orders in the second leg of his side's round of 16 tie against Los Blancos earlier this month after angrily protesting a decision made by the referee.
Verratti has since stated that he feels match officials should perhaps be more understanding, but also noted that Messi seemingly screams and shouts at referees with no consequences.
"I got it wrong against Real, but it was a red card out of frustration and sometimes referees could be more tolerant," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Whereas Messi goes around pointing his finger in the referee's face and doesn't even get punished."
Verratti has been sent off eight times in his club career so far, with five of those red cards coming with the French giants.
Do you agree with Verratti that Messi receives special treatment? Let us know in the comments section below.