Report: Messi refused award because he was angry over draw
By Steve DelVecchio
Argentina blew a 2-0 lead in the second half of the Copa America opener on Saturday and ended with a 2-2 draw against Uruguay. Lionel Messi, who scored the second goal of the game in the 36th minute to give his team a two-goal lead, was not pleased.
According to a report from Goal.com, Messi was so angry over the draw that he refused to accept an award on behalf of MasterCard for being the player of the match. A representative from the company went to Argentina’s locker room to inform Messi that he had been chosen for the award, but the 27-year-old wanted nothing to do with it.
Neither did his teammates.
Following the Barcelona forward’s refusal, MasterCard were keen to pick another Argentine player after the fantastic first half performance from Gerardo Martino’s men, but the mood in the dressing room was sombre and the representative was told that none of the players were willing to accept the accolade.
It was then decided to give the prize to one of Paraguay’s two goal-scorers and Nelson Valdez – who netted the first for the Albirroja before Lucas Barrios’ late leveler – was on hand to pick up the unwanted man of the match award.
As we recently learned, Messi has been battling legal issues off the pitch. Perhaps that added to his obvious level of frustration after his team gave away what should have been a victory.
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