Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes there are some local identities who want Lionel Messi OUT of the club.

Messi is still reeling after being found guilty of tax fraud in Spain and Laporta is convinced some powerful forces are working against the Barca icon.

He told Radio Catalunya: “Some pretty powerful people in Barcelona no longer want to see Messi as a Barça player.

“The court’s decision must be accepted, but it is clear that Messi has paid his taxes.”

Laporta also insisted: “For me, Barca is a club that I have had the honor of chairing and one that I know and love.”

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