Fans call Lionel Messi the 'most protected player ever' after he gets away with elbow and throat grab
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Fans are calling Lionel Messi the 'most protected player ever' after he escaped a red card following an elbow and a throat grab incident.
Argentina suffered a crushing 2-0 defeat to Uruguay in their World Cup qualifier on Friday.
It was an intense fixture as there were several flashpoints in the game held at La Bombonera.
Messi was involved in a heated moment with Mathias Olivera as he appeared to deliver an elbow after the Uruguay player clashed with Rodrigo De Paul.
The Argentina captain then grabbed Olivera by the throat as things turned nasty.
There was plenty of pushing and shoving as the match referee eventually intervened and separated Messi from Olivera.
The referee, though, didn't brandish a card to the 36-year-old despite his elbow and throat grab.
🚨| Messi elbow and throat grab incident— Red Card Alert (@collinabanter) November 17, 2023
No card given.
The decision not to brandish a card to the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner angered fans online.
One X user wrote: "Not even a yellow. I've never seen a player be so protected in my life."
A second tweeted: "Not the first Time, most protected player ever."
A third added: "This is a red card for any other player in the world but not for FIFA's boy Lionel Messi. The most protected player of all time."
A fourth said: "That's a clear throat grab, not even yellow?"
Another commented: "Not a red card cause his last name is Messi."
Argentina's defeat to Uruguay is their first loss of their World Cup qualifying campaign.
But they still sit at the top of the table, with 12 points on the board having won four of their five qualifiers.
The world champions return to action on Wednesday against Brazil.