During the Argentina-Brazil match on Tuesday, TV images showed Brazil forward Rodrygo in a heated discussion with former Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi and midfielder Rodrigo de Paul.
This behavior from Messi didn’t sit well with RMC Sport pundit and former PSG player Jérôme Rothen. The French football pundit sounded off on the veteran for how he conducted himself with the Brazilian.
“Once again, I am not surprised by their attitude,” Rothen said on RMC Sport (h/t Le10Sport). “It’s been a long time. Except that the World Cup reinforced them in this behavior. They are world champions, and we congratulate them for that. Messi’s team, you had to give it to Messi… He got it very well.
“We remember very well that they were able to benefit at times from the famous 12th man. What is certain is that this is not the best team in the world. (…) In terms of behavior, they are number one in taking themselves for others.”
The altercation had consequences on social media. After the game, Rodrygo reported that he had been the target of racist comments on social media. On Thursday, he shared his experience through posts on Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter).
Furthermore, this wasn’t the only time that Messi made news during the international break with Argentina. The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner scolded PSG midfielder Manuel Ugarte for his behavior against De Paul during the Uruguay-Argentina match.
Ugarte confronted De Paul with an NSFW gesture, and Messi noted that players like the 22-year-old on the Uruguayan squad need to learn to follow the elders on the team, referring to Luis Suárez.