Published By: Ritayan Basu
Last Updated: October 14, 2023, 17:43 IST
Paraguay forward Antonio Sanabria attracted the football world’s rage after he allegedly spat in Lionel Messi’s direction during Argentina’s World Cup qualifier fixture. During the match, it was alleged that the Paraguay striker spat at Messi after a heated exchange of words. However, as per news outlet MARCA, Messi told the press, “The truth is that I didn’t see it. They told me in the locker room that one of them had spit on me.” The Argentine World Cup winner said, “The truth is, I don’t even know who this guy is. I didn’t see him. They only told me.” Messi further talked about how he did not want to give the situation much attention because it would only get worse if the alleged player came out to talk over this. “He’s going to come out, talk everywhere and it’s worse. It’s going to become known, so it’s better to leave it there”, Messi added.
Antonio Sanabria did present his version of the incident later to TyC Sports. He said, “It seems like I spit on it, but no, nothing to see.” Sarabia also added that he was quite far away from the Argentine in the image that’s floating across the internet. He completely denied the allegations that were levelled against him. “Nothing to do with it, it was far away. I totally deny it”, he concluded.
The Argentina vs Paraguay World Cup qualifier match at the Estadio Mas Monumental on October 13 proved to be a dramatic episode of football. Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi scored the solitary goal of the game in the third minute as their rock-solid defence was able to hold out the score line till the end. Lionel Messi was introduced in the match only in the 53rd minute and hit the woodwork twice during his stay on the field. The Inter Miami footballer also attempted an ‘Olimpico’ as he looked to double his side’s lead.
For the unversed, an ‘Olimpico’ refers to a goal that is directly scored from a corner kick. His attempt went over the players including the goalkeeper only to bounce off the top of the goalpost.
Lionel Messi is currently on international duty after missing some crucial games for Inter Miami. His absence from the Major League Soccer (MLS) has caused a massive dip in the form of the American side. The Herons failed to qualify for the MLS playoffs this season. However, it has not been too bad for the David Beckham-owned club as they recently won the Leagues Club trophy, thanks to some brilliant performances from Messi in the competition. He bagged both the best player and top scorer awards as he clinched the cup for his side. After the international break, the Argentine will be looking to help his squad for the domestic league title next season.