Mexican boxer Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez has sent a warning to Lionel Messi, who he accused of disrespecting Mexico.
“Did you see Messi cleaning the floor with our shirt and flag????” Álvarez tweeted, apparently referencing a video in which Messi appears to kick a Mexico shirt that is on the floor during Argentina’s celebrations in the changing room.
There is no indication that Messi kicked the shirt intentionally, instead appearing to do it accidentally as he took off his football boots.
“He better pray to God that I don’t find him!!” Álvarez added in another tweet, with a series of angry emojis. “Just like I respect Argentina, he has to respect Mexico! I’m not talking about the country as a whole, just about the bulls**t that Messi pulled.”
Argentina beat Mexico 2-0 on Saturday in a tense game in Group C at the Qatar World Cup. Messi scored the opening goal, before Enzo Fernández sealed the win late on to keep Argentina’s World Cup dream alive following its stunning opening round defeat to Saudi Arabia.
Álvarez, who is widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers ever after winning world championships in four weight classes, added in one reply to a journalist: “It’s one thing them being better than us (in football), it’s another thing to have respect.”
Messi’s former Argentina teammate Sergio Agüero responded to Álvarez on Twitter, saying: “Mr. Canelo, don’t look for excuses or problems, surely you don’t know about football and what happens in a changing room.
“The shirts are always on the floor after games have finished due to sweat and then if you look properly, he makes the movement to remove his boot and accidentally hits it.”
Argentina takes on Poland in its final group match on Wednesday, with Mexico facing Saudi Arabia as all four teams in Group C remain in with a chance of qualifying for the round of 16.