Lionel Messi’s brutal 13-word response to Brazil’s Real Madrid star Rodrygo after he called Argentina ‘cowards’ for sheltering in the dressing room while violence delayed the start of their World Cup qualifier
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  • Lionel Messi and Rodrygo exchange words after mass fan incident prior to clash 
  • Argentine Rodrigo De Paul was also involved before the important rivalry game 
  • The curse of our game is abuse of referees, we are not doing enough to stop it. The punishments must be HARSH – It’s All Kicking Off
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

Lionel Messi had some savage words for Rodrygo after the Brazil star accused Argentina’s players of cowardice for retreating down the tunnel following the clash between fans and police at the Maracana Stadium.

Rodrygo confronted Messi and Rodrigo De Paul when they emerged to tell them they were ‘cowards’ for going to the dressing room. 

The Argentina captain had led his team-mates into the dressing room after supporters clashed and police wielded batons towards Argentina fans, forcing kick-off to be delayed by 30 minutes.

Several fans were seen ripping the seats off stadium chairs and using them as weapons.

Emiliano Martinez also appeared to leap up towards the stands to slap a baton out of an officer’s hands before being restrained by his teammates.

When confronted by Rodrygo, Messi hit back saying: ‘We are the world champions, why are we cowards? Look at your mouth.’

Lionel Messi and Rodrigo De Paul took exception with something said by Brazil's Rodrygo

Lionel Messi and Rodrigo De Paul took exception with something said by Brazil’s Rodrygo

The Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry never stops as Rodrygo argues with a club legend in Messi

The Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry never stops as Rodrygo argues with a club legend in Messi

Both the Ballon d’Or winner and teammate De Paul were seen furiously getting into Rodrygo’s face.  

After the original trio came together, several other players from both teams joined in to make sure the conversation didn’t escalate further with Messi seen wrapping a hand around the back his opponent’s neck before he moved away.

Rodrygo and Rodrigo De Paul both play for Spanish clubs in the same city, at Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid respectively. 

Messi’s move to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer over the summer hasn’t stopped him from being an integral member of the Argentine national team. 

The rivalry matchup was contested as a World Cup qualifier from Rio de Janeiro, with Argentina winning 1-0 on a second-half goal from Nicolas Otamendi. 

The game also featured a red card, given to Brazil’s Joelinton less than 10 minutes after he came into the match as a substitute. 



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