BARCELONA superstar Lionel Messi has been accused of racism by Everton midfielder Royston Drenthe.
On loan from Real Madrid, Drenthe told Dutch magazine NUsport, "You know what bothers me so? That tone with which he always says, 'Negro, negro'," Drenthe said.
"I understand that 'negro' in South America is very common, but we cannot stand it."
Messi and Barcelona were yet to respond to the claims.
But a Barcelona spokesman insisted the accusations were "well wide of the mark".
"The player (Messi) has always shown a maximum respect and sportsmanship towards his rivals, something which has been recognised by his fellow professionals many times, and we are sure that any accusations to the contrary are well wide of the mark.
"His behaviour throughout his career has always been exemplary."