Canelo Álvarez Sends Warning Shots to Lionel Messi on Twitter originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Argentina escaped elimination at the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a 2-0 win over Mexico on Saturday. But as the team celebrated in the locker room, there was one Mexican athlete who didn't take some possible "disrespect" lightly.
Boxer Saul "Canelo" Álvarez has sent a series of warning shots to Argentine forward Lionel Messi, who he accused of disrespecting Mexico.
"Did you see Messi cleaning the floor with our shirt and flag????" Álvarez tweeted. This tweet supposedly references a video in which Messi appears to kick a Mexican shirt on the floor during Argentina's celebrations in the locker room. The shirt is a jersey that Messi exchanged with a Mexican player following the match.
It's not clear if Messi was intentionally kicking the jersey but instead doing it accidentally as he took off his football boots.
Once the video went viral, Canelo was clear that he wouldn't stand for disrespect to his home country. "He better pray to God that I don't find him!!" Álvarez added in another tweet. "Just like I respect Argentina, he has to respect Mexico! I'm not talking about the country as a whole … "
Messi has not responded to the tweets, but former Argentina teammate Sergio Agüero came to his defense and responded to Álvarez on Twitter, saying: "Mr. Canelo, don't look for excuses or problems, surely you don't know about football and what happens in a changing room.
"The shirts are always on the floor after games have finished due to sweat and then if you look properly, he makes the movement to remove his boot and accidentally hits it."
Messi and Co. will have to put the noise behind them and look toward their upcoming match. Argentina will take on Poland in its final group match on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 2 p.m. ET and Mexico will face Saudi Arabia at the same time.
All four teams in Group C remain with a chance of qualifying for the round of 16.