Barcelona star Lionel Messi was spat at by a River Plate fan during an ugly airport altercation following his side’s 3-0 victory in the Club World Cup final in Japan, Spanish media reported on Monday. Messi, who scored the opening goal in Sunday’s final, reportedly retaliated with a punch after being subjected to a series of insults from fans of the Argentine club as he was preparing to board a flight home from Tokyo’s Narita airport.
“An ugly incident occurred at Narita international airport. When Barcelona players were getting ready to go through passport control and security, several River fans insulted Messi and the issue escalated to the point that one of them spat at Messi,” Spanish sports daily AS reported.
According to several reports, an irate Messi responded by “punching” the fan who spat at him, before Barca coach Luis Enrique and team-mates Javier Mascherano and Luis Suarez stepped in to defuse the situation.
However, Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo explained that shortly after the incident Messi was seen to be “smiling” and relaxed, “playing down the significance of the event.”
Madrid-based daily Marca added that the group of supporters were also heckling ex-River player Mascherano, criticizing him for “forgetting” his roots, with Mascherano having come through the youth ranks at the Buenos Aires club before making his professional debut with them in 2003.
More La Liga:
- Real Madrid’s 10 goals against Rayo can’t prevent fans booing Rafa Benitez.
- The rise, fall and resurrection of Deportivo La Coruna.
- Espanyol fire Gonzalez | Quickly appoint Galca.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Euro glory would make Liverpool the best ever: McManaman
- Liverpool’s Salah eyes Champions League revenge against Real
- Claims stemming from Australia football probe referred to police
- Liverpool eye revenge against Real Madrid in Champions League final rematch
- Chile name Argentine Berizzo as new coach after World Cup qualification failure
- Canada Soccer cancels Iran football friendly: statement
- Paris readies for Liverpool fan invasion
- How to watch Champions League Final for free without cable
- Aston Villa to sign Sevilla defender Diego Carlos
- RB Salzburg midfielder Aaronson joins Leeds