"I would never do such a thing": Zenit-Star denies being deliberately sent off to compete in the Copa Libertadores final between Boca and River Plate
- Leandro Paredes received a red card in the last game of Zenit St. Petersburg
- By sending it, he can participate in the final of the Copa Libertadores in Boca
- The Argentine midfielder denies the allegation that he was deliberately sent off
- He said, "It's all a lie. Nothing happened here. I deliberately did not deserve a red card. "
Ben Nagle for MailOnline
Leandro Paredes is in controversy after being allegedly intentionally sent to the Copa Libertadores finals between Boca Juniors and River Plate in his home country.
The Argentinian, who used to play for Boca, received his marching orders in just eight minutes before Zenit St. Petersburg's game against Achmat Grozny.
This means that he will miss the clash with CSKA Moscow next Sunday, which will release him for Saturday's big game at Boca House La Bombonera.
Leandro Paredes will travel to Argentina in time for the grand finale of the Copa Libertadores
He has denied the allegations he purposely sent to return to the game
Meanwhile, the midfielder has vehemently denied the allegations, insisting that it did not occur to him to purposely receive a red card.
"I wanted to arrive in Argentina on Sunday, but when we played for the Europa League in France on Thursday, they suggested that I would not return to Russia on Friday and travel directly from there," he told Fox Sports Argentina.
"It's all a lie, nothing happened here, it was invented in Argentina.
"I did not deserve a red card on purpose, I would never do that, and when I heard that was being talked about, I talked to the sports director of Zenit, and he told me they trust me."
The Copa Libertadores competition is reputed to be a lively, high-octane affair
Paredes (on the right with Branislav Ivanovic) will miss Sunday's match against CSKA Moscow
Paredes played for the Boca Juniors, first in their academy from 2002 to 2010, before completing 28 appearances for the senior national team before moving to Italy.
He then played for Chievo, Roma and Empoli, before moving to Russia in the summer of 2017 with Zenit.
Boca will play in the first leg of the eagerly awaited showdown against fierce rival River Plate on Saturday before the return leg on 24 November.
Away fans will be "not welcome" on both sides of the grand finale.