PSG’s Ugarte Reveals Mentality Needed to Face Messi and Argentina

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Manuel Ugarte went viral last week during the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Argentina and Uruguay.

In the first half, Ugarte confronted Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo De Paul, who was subjected to an NSFW gesture during the confrontation.

Nonetheless, Ugarte’s performance against the reigning World Cup Champions was lost in the viral moment. The 22-year-old played all 90 minutes in the victory, with 63 touches while completing 40 of 44 passes for a 91-percent completion percentage. 

Furthermore, Ugarte won six of his 14 ground duels with four tackles and two interceptions. The PSG star recently spoke with the local media, Sport 890, and noted the mentality he needed to face Argentina and Lionel Messi.

“I always love to play to the limit,” Ugarte said. “It was a game with history. Bielsa asked me to watch Messi in my area and be attentive to the change of man. At times, I had to control De Paul and Julián Álvarez.”

After the game, there was still animosity between the two teams. Lionel Messi, a former PSG star, was asked about the gesture but remained silent instead of expressing his true feelings.

Furthermore, there was also a reaction from the English-speaking media. ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens shared their thoughts on the incident. Seeing how Ugarte performs when Argentina and Uruguay meet again will be interesting.

Tags Argentina national team Lionel Messi Manuel Ugarte
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