Lionel Messi has played down speculation that he and Barcelona team-mate David Villa do not get on.
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Some in the Spanish press had cited an on-pitch discussion between the pair during a game against Granada earlier this season as evidence of tension in their relationship, speculating that Villa was unhappy with his secondary role behind Messi in the Barcelona attack.
However, Messi said in an interview in Thursday's Mundo Deportivo that such rumours were groundless.
"Obviously that all stayed on the field," Messi said. "We get on very well, just as everyone does in the dressing-room. He is a good person and does not fight with anyone. It is difficult to fight with him given the character he has. There was more talk about what happened, but there is no problem."
After scoring his second goal in four days during his club's 3-0 win over Alaves in the Copa del Rey last-32 first leg on Tuesday, Villa admitted to a certain frustration at his limited playing time so far this season but accepted that Barca coach Tito Vilanova and the club's medical staff knew best.
"I am at the best club in the world and the competition to get playing time is very fierce," Villa said. "I want to play as much as possible, but I am in the hands of the professionals who know what is best. There is another game on Saturday and I hope to be at my best."