Ever since Argentina’s defeat to Brazil at the Copa America 2019 semi-final, Lionel Messi has been an angry character. As it happened during the third-place playoff between Argentina and Chile, Messi’s mood grew further incensed after he was handed the first red card in his international career.
Albeceliste defeated their opponents 2-1 after goals from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala at 12th and 22nd minute of the match respectively. But the Argentine captain had a collision with Chile’s Gary Medal at the 37th minute and both of them were sent off the field, a decision that did not go down well in Argentina camp.
“I did not want to be part of this corruption, we shouldn’t have to be part of this disrespect we suffered during the Copa America. We could have gone further but we weren’t allowed into the final. Corruption, referees and all the rest stopped people from enjoying the football,” Messi said after the match.
Earlier, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had blasted the officials and owed his team’s loss in the semi-final to poor referring. Argentina lost the game against Brazil 0-2, but the match saw two penalty appeals from them being turned down by the referee.
While visuals showed that the Argentine players were fouled in Brazilian box on both the occasions, the referee did not even consider going for the VAR. Thus Argentina lost two possible penalty chances and as it happened the Selacao scored their second goal right after one of the appeals was rejected.
“There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil. I hope the VAR and referees don’t play any part in the final and that Peru can compete but it looks tough to me,” Messi was quoted as saying.
Such was the fury of the Barcelona star that he did not show up during the presentation ceremony to take his 3rd-place medal. Also, Argentine Football Association president wrote an angry letter to South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), expressing his disgust.