Barcelona won the FIFA Club World Cup final beating River Plate by 3-0 in Yokohama, Japan. But it looks like River Plate fans are yet to get over the club’s defeat and Lionel Messi had to unnecessarily bear the heat of it as the Argentinean star went through Tokyo’s Narita airport facing some spat.
Messi scored the opening goal in Barcelona’s 3-0 win. With that, he was targeted by a mob of River Plate supporters with one fan allegedly spitting on him as he made his way to the passport control area.
His teammate Javier Mascherano and coach Luis Enrique were quick enough to intervene and play the role of peacemakers.
Fox Sports reports River Plate coach telling Argentinean newspaper Ole: “I didn’t see it, but I’ve been told about it.”
“I want to condemn this behavior, behavior that is out of place. You need to be respectful. He’s a player who was born in our country, is the best in the world and plays for our national team.”
“Give him the respect he deserves. I don’t agree with this behavior at all.”
River president D’Onofrio told Fox Sports: “There’s always some idiot, to put it mildly.”
“I’ve just read that Messi had problems in the airport with some fan. Messi is the best player of Argentinean football, he’s a gentleman… when he scored the goal, he raised his hands apologizing.”
“He congratulated the club for having got where we did, and he told me that when he was a youngster he was on the verge of becoming a River player.”
“So I applaud him. You need to know how to lose and when to recognize the other team were better.”
The four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner has fans worldwide and is regarded as the best footballer in the world. Aspiring footballers dream to become like him but people back in his homeland criticize him for leaving Argentina as a teenager and for failing to enjoy the same level of success with his national team as he has in Europe.