Lionel Messi, the captain of Argentina, has conveyed a message to Uruguay’s young players, emphasizing the importance of learning from their seniors following their conduct during Thursday’s World Cup qualifier. The 2-0 defeat at La Bombonera marked Argentina’s first loss since clinching the world championship in 2022.
Asked about Uruguay midfielder Manuel Ugarte’s obscene gesture directed at Argentina midfielder Rodrigo De Paul in the 23rd minute of the game, Messi said: “Well, these young people have to learn. They [Uruguay] have a good group of players, a good national team, but they have to learn respect from their [Uruguay] elders because this Clásico was always intense, hard, but always with a lot of respect. So they have to learn a little.”
In the 19th minute, De Paul engaged in a dispute with Uruguay defender Mathías Olivera, sparking a brawl between the teams. Messi was seen pushing his right elbow into Olivera’s chest and then placing his left hand around his throat.
“It’s normal, in this type of games, qualifiers, it’s always like this with Uruguay,” Messi said. “We knew what type of game we were going to find, it was difficult for us to play. They are intense and have physical and fast people. We did not feel comfortable.”
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