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Messi never cheats, insists Xavi

Lionel Messi is not the sort of player to cheat on the pitch, according to his former Barcelona team-mate Xavi.

Messi was accused of play-acting after getting Filipe Luis sent off in Barcelona's win over Atletico Madrid back in January, with the Brazilian defender claiming after that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner gets special treatment from referees.

However, Xavi has defended Messi and is adamant the Argentinian's behaviour on the pitch is exemplary.

"Messi is a good person," Xavi told beIN SPORTS. "He is always nice, he is honest and he does not cheat.

"He has never disrespected anyone on the pitch. His behaviour is exemplary.

"He is a humble guy, who is very professional and hates to lose.

"He is the best player in the world in all aspects. I told him to get more involved and he now does it naturally.

"He is addicted to the ball. He is sad when he cannot play."