Latin America

Messi takes photo with assistant ref

Lionel Messi
Messi (L) posed with Nicolas Yegros during Argentina's World Cup qualifier versus Chile.
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International superstar Lionel Messi is no stranger to weird fan requests: even if they come directly from in-game referees.

During halftime of Argentina’s 2-1 victory over Chile in CONMBEBOL’s World Cup qualifying match, a South American official sparked international intrigue when he decided to pose for a photograph with the Argentine captain.

"My son is his fan and I had an opportunity to take a snapshot," said Yegros to Chile's El Grafico. "Please don't be upset for what I did."

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Yet the Paraguayan assistant referee Nicolas Yegros remained bewildered regarding the controversy surrounding his decision to have a photograph taken with the current Ballon D’or holder.

"I really don't know why it is being talked about so much," he told reporters.

"The referees, we are a part of the footballing environment and I do not see why there is a problem.

"I also had a photo with Alexis Sanchez, who is also a Chilean international idol, Barcelona player and teammate of Messi."

Yegros was seen posing with the Barca starlet Messi during the half time break. According to multiple South American media outlets, Yegros was refereeing his last official match for CONMEBOL Tuesday night.

Argentina remain atop of South America’s World Cup qualifying standings with 20 points from nine games.

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