Lionel Messi denies he made a gesture towards Tata Martino after substitution during Barcelona 4 – Real Sociedad 1

Lionel Messi moved swiftly on Tuesday night to post a message on his Facebook page, denying he made a gesture towards Barcelona coach Tata Martino when he was substituted in the 81st minute.

Martino seems intent on rotating key players more often than previous coaches at Barcelona and for the second time this season, hauled Messi off with a La Liga game well won at the Nou Camp.

Messi did not look happy and did not shake hands with Martino but whilst the body language was poor, it is difficult to see an outright gesture of anger or frustration.

The Madrid-based press allege that Martino tries to say something to Messi as he walks past, but it is pretty difficult to see on the video below.

Tito Vilanova, when he was assistant coach at Barcelona, publicly admitted that Lionel Messi is keen to play 90 minutes of every game and can get angry if substituted.

Martino said after the emphatic win over Sociedad: “Messi never wants to be subbed off, but it’s my task to take care of him. We need him at end of season as well as now.”

Whilst you can understand Messi’s frustrations on the Facebook message above, it came very quickly after the game, just minutes after the initial report and it does perhaps feel the Argentine superstar is protesting a little too much…