SOCCER

"I don't know about tax; we have people for that"

Leo Messi answers questions on fraud case in first press conference of new season "I am calm, we have lawyers and advisors and we trust them," he tells reporters

Barça player Leo Messi during Wednesday's press conference.
Barça player Leo Messi during Wednesday's press conference.FERNANDO ZUERAS / DIARIO AS

In his first press conference of the new season at Barcelona's Ciudad Deportivo, Leo Messi was quizzed over a variety of issues surrounding the club: a spat between coach Tito Vilanova and club president Sandro Rosell on one hand, and Pep Guardiola on the other; the arrival of Brazilian superstar Neymar; and only a few minutes into his appearance, the ongoing investigation into his and his father's alleged tax fraud, about which both have been summoned to appear in court on September 17.

"I knew that you were going to ask me that so I'll take the opportunity to say it once: I am calm, we have lawyers and advisors and we trust them. It is up to them to resolve it because I do not know anything about all of this and that's why I have people to take care of these matters," the Argentina captain said. Further questions were rebuffed by the press officer.

Neymar is a good kid and he won't have any problems with me"

Messi would not be drawn on Vilanova and Guardiola's public falling-out - the current coach accused the former of deserting him during his treatment for cancer in New York, where Guardiola was on a sabbatical. "There's no need to comment," he said.

The arrival of Neymar, in media terms a player of the same stature as Messi, had led to question marks over whether the two could play on the same team - Johan Cruyff, among others, opined they could not and suggested he would have considered selling the Argentinean. "I don't know where all this comes from but he is a good kid and he won't have any problems with me," Messi said.

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