Pep Guardiola: 'Lionel Messi is not a diver'

Guardiola: 'Messi is not a diver'
© PA Photos
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola insists that Lionel Messi is not a diver.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has leapt to the defence of Lionel Messi after allegations that the Argentine is a diver.

The 24-year-old, who was booked for simulation during Barca's 2-2 draw with Real Sociedad last month, was denied a penalty kick following a challenge from Alberto Botia in last night's match with Sporting Gijon.

Many pundits suggested that Messi went down under the tackle too easily, but Guardiola has insisted that his player was fouled.

"I did not see it, but everyone should know that when Messi goes down it is because he has been fouled," the manager told reporters after the match. "The officials saw it better than me, you should know that."

Barca won the match 1-0 courtesy of an early goal from Adriano.

Pep Guardiola
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Result: Sporting Gijon 0-1 Barcelona
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