Luis: Messi protected by media and La Liga

Atletico Madrid full-back Filipe Luis has risked the wrath of La Liga chiefs after claiming that Barcelona star Lionel Messi is given preferential treatment.

Luis made the claims after serving a one-match ban for the red card picked up in his side’s 2-1 defeat to Barcelona at the end of January.

The 30-year-old was shown a straight red card for his reckless lunge on Messi in the closing stages of the first half, but had his three-match suspension reduced to one match following a successful appeal.

Despite admitting his challenge was worthy of a red card, Luis is adamant that referees are more willing to penalise opposition players for robust challenges on Messi than some of the league’s other players.

“It was a red card, it was not a mistake by the referee, it was a red card,” Luis told Brazilian TV station Esporte Interativo. “I went out on the field and that was it, a one-match suspension and I served it.

“I was not late, I went after the ball. Now that type of play happens during every match, but because it was with Messi and because here he is the darling of the media and La Liga, obviously no one wants to see one of the best players of all time taken out.

“No one wants to miss a chance to see him play and that is why all of this happened.”