Lionel Messi gets special treatment from referee’s – PSG’s Marco Verratti

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti said he believes Lionel Messi gets special treatment from referees as he apologised for his sending off in the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

Verratti was dismissed when he picked up a second booking for dissent as PSG lost 2-1 at the Parc des Princes.

The Italy midfielder told La Gazzetta dello Sport he felt Messi would have got away with that reaction, but stressed that he had been mistaken to respond as he did.

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“I got it wrong against Real, but it was a red card out of frustration and sometimes referees could be more tolerant,” he said.

“It was a bad reaction but I didn’t insult anybody, whereas Messi goes around pointing his finger in the referee’s face and doesn’t even get punished. But anyway, I need to improve.”

Verratti, whose side lost to Real 5-2 on aggregate, said he felt they had been close to matching the Champions League holders and could have done so had Neymar been fit.

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