Cape Town - Malaga vice-captain Weligton has revealed he grabbed Lionel Messi by the throat after the Barcelona forward swore at him in Wednesday's goalless draw.
The Brazilian defender and his Argentine counterpart clashed towards the end of the La Liga encounter at La Rosaleda, which saw Barca fail to register a single shot on target in a game for the first time in 11 seasons.
There appeared to be initial shoulder-to-shoulder contact from Messi before Weligton seized the forward's face, receiving a caution for his actions.
However, the 35-year-old insists he was only reacting to something that the Blaugrana star had said, although Weligton acknowledges he should have restrained himself and has apologised for his behaviour.
Weligton told Cadena SER: "A minute before Messi tried to play a one-two, I tried to block him with my arm. He thought I caught him in the face, but it was by accident.
"You can see from the images. He got angry and came at me, calling me a 'son of a b****'. That was when I caught him by the throat."
He added: "There was no need to talk with him afterwards. If he wants to talk to me then no problem, if I make a mistake then I recognise it and apologise. But if he acts another way, then no problem either."
Commenting on a dogged performance from Javi Gracia's side, which halted Barca's perfect start to the new season, Weligton said: "The whole team played a great game so I congratulate everyone.
"It's not easy to hold the players that Barca possess. But over the last few days we've watched a lot of their videos and managed to put our ideas into practice."