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Lionel Messi urges Uruguay to ‘respect their elders’ after crude gesture

Lionel Messi at Argentina
© Ace Football

The Argentina captain made his thoughts clear after an unpleasant exchange.

After a heated World Cup qualifier that saw Argentina’s 2-0 defeat to Uruguay, Lionel Messi addressed an unsavory incident, urging Uruguay’s players to respect their elders.

The incident unfolded during a confrontation in the match on Thursday. Manuel Ugarte directed a lewd gesture towards Rodrigo De Paul after a clash with Messi.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Messi chose not to delve into specifics, but he did call on the young Uruguayan players to be more respectful.

“I prefer not to say what I think about some gestures,” the 36-year-old stated.

“Young people have to learn to respect their elders. Argentina – Uruguay was always a tough classic, but with respect, they have to learn a little.”

The fiery encounter at La Bombonera ended with goals from Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez. The duo’s goals secured a solid 2-0 victory for Uruguay. This defeat also marked Argentina’s first since clinching the World Cup in December 2022.

Despite the setback, Argentina remain atop the South American qualifying phase for the 2026 World Cup. The title holders have 12 points from five games. Uruguay closely trail behind them with 10 points in second place.

Argentina will now prepare for their next challenge against Brazil at the Maracana on Tuesday.