Drenthe: Messi called me ‘negro’

In an article on Dutch website Nu.ni, Everton’s Royston Drenthe has dragged Lionel Messi into a race row by alleging the Barcelona star called him ‘negro’.

Drenthe, who is on loan at Goodison Park from Real Madrid but is expected to depart the Toffees after a disappointing spell, came up against the FIFA World Player of the Year during his time in Spain with Real and Hercules. It was then that the Dutch international claims he faced problems from Messi with the way the Barca player referred to him.

“I’ve played against Messi in the last few years and always had problems. You know what bothered me most? The way in which he spoke to me, always calling me ‘negro’ ‘negro’. I understand it is normal in South America but I can’t stand it,” declared Drenthe, before admitting there were also problems in the Real Madrid dressing room.

“Mahamadou Diarra, my team-mate at Real, would get angry when Gabriel Heinze and Gonzalo Higuain called him that. In the end they stopped doing it.”

According to Drenthe there was an incident in a game between Hercules (where he was on loan) and Barcelona at the Camp Nou last season, when Pep Guardiola’s men were on the wrong end of a shock 2-0 scoreline.

“When Hercules beat Barcelona I had a small altercation with him (Messi). Before the game we shook hands and he said ‘hello negro’ to me a few times. After the game he didn’t acknowledge me. I don’t think he’d invite me to his birthday party,” he concluded.

In the same interview Drenthe revealed he is looking to return to Holland with Feyenoord, ending his often controversial five-year spell with Real Madrid. The 25-year-old has failed to establish himself with Los Blancos and maintained he would even call the Dutch club to try and instigate a move.

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