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“Ruins the beauty of the game”- Lionel Messi grabbed Mathias Olivera’s shirt

During the qualifier, Messi grabbed Olivera's neck and then elbowed him.

Lionel Messi was spotted supporting his teammates as a brawl broke out between Argentina and Uruguay during a heated CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup qualifying match. Messi was seen on CCTV pushing Uruguay’s Mathías Olivera away by elbowing and grasping him by the neck.

An intense altercation broke out between Mathías Olivera and Rodrigo De Paul of Argentina at 19:10. Before long, other players stepped in to break them apart. In his haste to assist, Lionel Messi accidentally elbowed Olivera and momentarily grabbed his neck. The game went on surprisingly without any players receiving a booking for the incident. However, Olivera received a yellow card in the 79th minute.

Uruguay ended the defending World Cup champion’s winning run in La Bombonera stadium, their first defeat since the opening game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Darwin Nunez and Ronald Araujo both scored, resulting in a tight match that had over seven bookings. As a result, Argentina continues to lead the standings, with Uruguay behind in second place by two points.

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Lionel Messi into a brawl with Mathias Olivera. (Source: BBC)
Lionel Messi into a brawl with Mathias Olivera. (Source: BBC)

Normally recognised for his composed demeanour on the football pitch, Lionel Messi shocked supporters when a video of him elbowing and clutching Mathias Olivera’s neck went viral. Though he seldom ever fights, some supporters thought his antics were amusing and asserted that he is less likely than other players to receive a red card.

Argentina’s next qualifying match will now take place against Brazil in five days. Both teams will be trying to reset their fortunes and return to winning ways after suffering losses in their previous meetings.

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