Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has complained about what he perceives to be double standards in refereeing, arguing that Lionel Messi rarely gets booked for dissent.
The Italy international midfielder picked up his 50th booking in Ligue 1 on Sunday against Nice but was the high-profile recipient of a red card against Real Madrid in the Champions League earlier this month.
He was dismissed for arguing with the referee – a favourite reason for being cautioned by the fiery midfielder. While it has drawn criticism from fans, Verratti has defended himself.
“It was a bad reaction but I didn't insult anybody, whereas Messi goes around pointing his finger in the referee's face and doesn't even get punished,” he told Gazzette dello Sport .
"But anyway, I need to improve
“I got it wrong against Real, but it was a red card out of frustration and sometimes referees could be more tolerant.”