Barcelona star Lionel Messi stressed he holds no hard feelings towards Filipe Luis after the Atletico Madrid defender was sent off for a reckless tackle on him in January.
Barca closed out a crucial 2-1 win in the top-of-the-table La Liga clash, with goals from Messi and Luis Suarez cancelling out Koke’s 10th-minute opener at Camp Nou.
Atleti finished the match with nine men as Filipe Luis received a straight red for his challenge and Diego Godin collected a pair of bookings.
Filipe Luis had his suspension reduced from three matches to one on appeal despite the knee-high lunge, and Messi is confident his opponent did not mean to cause any harm.
Speaking to Argentinian magazine El Grafico, Messi said: “It’s unusual to get hit so high up, in the knee.
“These sorts of tackles are made with no intent to cause harm, but it’s clear that the rules don’t allow such excesses.
“It’s up to the committee to judge [the length of the ban] and I don’t think anyone acted in bad faith.”
Messi added: “I don’t like talking about what happens on the pitch. The images show things that are difficult to figure out and even when they appear clear, you can’t tell what the intent was, so why whip up controversy?”