Coach magazine has pulled an interview with football superstar Lionel Messi from its website amid doubts over the story’s authenticity.
The piece made headlines in rival publications with the Barcelona forward said to have praised fellow players Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo and discussed his future at the club.
The story was published at coachmag.co.uk yesterday under the headline “Lionel Messi Interview” with a picture of the star and a byline for journalist Diego Jokas.
However, Jokas wrote today on Twitter (translated from Spanish) that he had never worked for Coach magazine nor took part in the interview with Messi attributed to him.
The story has since been replaced with the following text from Coach’s editors: “It has come to our attention that the authenticity of this interview has been questioned. We have removed the interview while we investigate.”
Coach published an interview with Cristiano Ronaldo in October last year written by a journalist using the byline Diego Jokas, raising further doubts over the authenticity of this report.
The magazine is understood to be looking into the matter and is in the process of contacting the journalist who supplied the interview.
An interview with Luis Suarez following his World Cup ban in 2014, written by a DS Jokas, also appears to have been pulled from Shortlist’s website today.
Shortlist has been contacted for comment.