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Filipe Luis: 'Lionel Messi protected by league and media'

Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis accuses La Liga and the media of giving preferential treatment to Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis has claimed that Barcelona's Lionel Messi is afforded special treatment by the authorities and the media.

Luis was shown a straight red card in the January meeting between the two sides for a knee-high challenge on Messi.

The former Chelsea left-back admitted that the referee made the correct decision in sending him off, but believes that the fact that it was on Messi means that more was made of the tackle.

"I admit it was a red card, the referee wasn't wrong. I sought the ball but very aggressively, with a high foot, and Leo was there. It was a fair red, I left the pitch, served a ban and that's it," Luis told TV Esporte Interativo.

"It's a phase of play which happens in every game, but it happened on Messi. He's protected by the Press and by the League. I believe they don't want one of their best players of all time to be injured and not play. Still, I slept easily because I didn't want to hurt him at any time.

"I approach every game with the same intensity and try not to be so aggressive in games like these. Many players enter the pitch just to change shirts, but I don't. If you give Messi a metre, he'll snatch the ball and leave you behind. My objective is to be intense so he can't do anything."

Barcelona currently sit eight points clear of Atletico at the top of the La Liga table.

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Lionel Messi scores during the La Liga game between Rayo Vallecano and Barcelona on March 3, 2016
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