In a heated confrontation during the 16th round of the American Football League, Inter Miami’s star player, Argentine Lionel Messi, found himself embroiled in a verbal quarrel with Orlando City player Felipe Martins. Spanish sports newspaper “Marca” reported that Martins uttered unkind words towards Messi, escalating tensions on the field, reported Al-Rai Daily.
Video footage captured a physical collision between Messi and Orlando City defender, Uruguayan Cesar Araujo, in the 83rd minute of the match. Shortly after, a heated exchange ensued between Messi and Martins, attracting criticism from American media.
Defending himself against accusations, Martins stated, “This is a normal part of the match,” emphasizing that whatever was said to Messi stayed on the field. He further asserted that all players should accept the rough-and-tumble nature of the game and not expect special treatment based on their names or status.
The Brazilian midfielder added, “I respect all players, and Messi or anyone else will not dictate how I conduct myself.” He clarified that his actions were meant to protect a fellow teammate who was not at fault.
Despite the altercation, Inter Miami emerged victorious with a 3-1 win over Orlando City, with Messi contributing significantly by scoring two of his team’s goals.