By MONIQUE VARELA
Argentina and Mexico went head to head and played against each other on Nov. 26 in the 2022 World Cup. The game ended with Argentina winning 2-0, beginning a debate over a controversial kick that did not involve a soccer ball.
The controversy began with a video that was posted online of the Argentina team celebrating their win in the locker rooms. In the video there is a slight view of Lionel Messi, considered one of the best soccer players, “kicking” a Mexican jersey.
Once the video was out, Mexico fans were furious at Messi calling the act disrespectful and offensive while other fans said it was not a kick at all.
Jaysen Gomez, freshman at Citrus Valley High School says “It was unreasonably outrageous. The whole series of events was outrageous for no reason.”
Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez viewed the video and expressed his anger in a tweet saying, “He better pray to God that I don’t find him!! Just like I respect Argentina, he has to respect Mexico!”
Kaila Rile, a sophomore at Citrus Valley High School, said “They’re acting like children”.
Some fans replied to the tweet trying to say that they believed Messi only “kicked” the jersey on accident and did not mean to be malicious or disrespectful. Though many fans were saying this, Alvarez still denied it being an accident and continued to criticize Messi saying Messi had already insulted Mexico even before “kicking” the jersey.
Canelo tweeted saying “From the moment the Mexico jersey is on the floor it’s already an insult.”
This tweet evoked a response from the former Argentina striker Sergio Agüero.
Aguero spoke out and said, “Mr. Canelo, don’t look for excuses or problems, surely you don’t know about soccer and what happens in a locker room.”
Canelo replied by calling Agüero a hypocrite and other harsh words.
Argentinian UFC fighter Santiago Ponzinibbio said, “[Messi] had an excellent match. I was upset. Brother, if you want to fight, I’m ready, but leave Messi be. You mess with Messi, you mess with the entire Argentina. Don’t bother the kid.”
Soon after the backlash Canelo received from his threat and tweets he made replying to people he issued an apology for what he said to Messi.
“These last days I was carried away by the passion and love I feel for my country and I made comments that were out of place for which I want to apologize to Messi and the people of Argentina,” Canelo said. “Every day we learn something new and this time it was my turn.”
Many people including fans were anticipating what Messi’s response would be to Canelo’s threat and the entire controversy.
Though Messi quickly ended the entire situation by saying, “Anyone who knows me knows that I never disrespect anyone. It is part of a locker room, ” Messi told the media.
“I don’t have to apologize, nor did I disrespect the Mexico shirt or anyone,” Messi said.
After Messi spoke out, fans continued to deny it being an accident, though the majority of fans agreed that it was an overreaction and the situation quickly ended after Messi’s response.
FEATURE IMAGE: Digital design representing Mexico and Argentina in the World Cup created using Canva (MONIQUE VARELA/ Ethic News media).