Barcelona midfielder Xavi has defended Lionel Messi in the wake of the incident involving Aitor Karanka and Alvaro Arbeloa in the 1-1 Copa del Rey draw against Real Madrid, saying the Blancos want to portray the Argentine as "the bad guy".
The prolific attacker allegedly called Karanka 'a puppet' for head coach Jose Mourinho, while Jose Callejon claimed that he went head-to-head with Arbeloa after the encounter.
"I don't understand all the uproar about this. Why can't we just talk about football? What are they trying to say, that Messi is a bad person? They are trying to depict him as the bad guy," Xavi told Sport.
"These kinds of incidents have been happening in football for ages and will continue to take place. I do not know whether it actually happened. It does not interest me and I have not asked Leo about it."
The return of the Copa del Rey tie between Barcelona and Madrid takes place at Camp Nou on Feb. 27.