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Barcelona boss Vilanova plays down Messi-Villa spat

Published on Nov 11, 2012 6:09 AM
 Barcelona's Lionel Messi walks in the rain during their Champions League soccer match against Celtic at Celtic Park stadium in Glasgow, Scotland Nov 7, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) - Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova played down rumours of a spat between star strikers Lionel Messi and David Villa after the duo's heated exchange during their 2-1 defeat at Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday.

"I know what the relationship is between them. As far as I know, they get along very well. Arguing with someone in the heat of the moment is normal, it happens at every club," Vilanova said at a press conference Saturday.

It was the second time this season that tensions had boiled over between the attacking pair after Messi had lashed out at Villa during a 2-0 win over Granada in September.

Asked whether the manner of Barca's defeat to Celtic could present future sides, such as Sunday's opponents Mallorca, with ideas on how to counteract the Catalans, Vilanova remained defiant.

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