What’s the story?
Argentina captain Lionel Messi has reacted after being controversially sent off in their third place play off against Chile in the Copa America campaign. Messi was furious with the referee’s decision and claimed the competition was in the favor of Brazil.
In case you didn’t know…
Argentina finished their Copa America campaign in third place after beating Chile 2-1. Argentina forward Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock at the 12th minute mark, while Paulo Dybala doubled the scoreline in the 22nd minute. Arturo Vidal of Chile managed to pull one back from the penalty spot in the second half but Chile failed to find the equalizer despite having some really good chances.
One of the main talking points of the bad-tempered tie came in the 37th minute, when Lionel Messi and Gary Medel both received their marching orders.This was Messi’s second red card in his whole international career as the Argentina captain received his first one in his debut 14 years back.
The heart of the matter
Speaking about the incident after the game, Messi held nothing back and took a dig at Brazil. Reported by AS, the 32-year-old explained,
“The Copa is set up for Brazil, hopefully the referees and the VAR won’t influence things and they let Peru compete, but I think that’s unlikely.”
The Argentine also refused to receive his medal and he commented,
“We don’t need to be part of the corruption that we’ve suffered at this tournament.”
“We don’t need to be part of the lack of respect we’ve suffered during this Copa América.”
“We could have gone further, but they didn’t let us be in the final.”
Messi further added his thoughts about being sent-off in the first half. He said,
“Medel is always right at the limit. With a yellow that would have been the end of it for both of us, but well, maybe what I said recently had an impact.”
“What’s important is that the team finished well in the tournament.”
“Maybe this was ordered [from above] and I ended up suffering because of what I said.”
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The Barcelona ace and the Argentina Football Association are clearly unhappy with the experience they had undergone this summer, but they managed to finish third. Brazil will face Peru to determine who wins the competition.