Fernandinho denies involvement in post-match incident with Lionel Messi

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The match itself was pretty intriguing on its own merit, however, the aftermath of Manchester City's impressive victory over Barcelona in the Champions League has been dogged by reports of a tunnel altercation involving Lionel Messi.

Initially, speculation was rife that the Argentine had become embroiled in a heated exchange with one unnamed Man City player, who he called 'stupid'.

But, despite Sergio Aguero's best efforts to play down the incident, the spotlight quickly turned to Fernandinho.

Brazilian media publication Globesporte were among those to claim that the midfielder was the target of Messi's insults after provoking him as they returned to the changing rooms.

However, Fernandinho has now come out to refute the reports by posting a statement across his various social media accounts.

In case you aren't fluent in Portuguese, here is the translation, as per The Mirror:

“I do not know where the rumours of a possible provocation and discussion on my part with Messi came from!

“So I have to say that the news circulating in the media are absurd untruths, because I did not even have contact with players or members of the technical committee of Barcelona after the game.

“[To] instigate and provoke [is] not part of my nature, considering that I cherish very much respect on and off the field, regardless of the opponent, club or player in question.”

So that's one less culprit to consider - if you believe the Brazilian's statement, of course.

Emotions are usually running high after the final whistle but it can be even tougher for Barcelona to handle given how rare they are actually beaten.

Nevertheless, some choice words must have been said to provoke such a reaction from Messi, who is usually one of the Barca stars at keeping his emotions in check.

The plot thickens...

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Manchester City
Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League

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