Dangerous shoulder charge on Lionel Messi sparks brawl in Argentina's friendly against Honduras
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Argentina ran out 3-0 winners at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida – with PSG forward Messi unsurprisingly the star of the show.
He scored twice, including a magnificent chip, to seal a comfortable win for Lionel Scaloni's side.
But the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was lucky to avoid injury after being hit with a shoulder charge by Honduras midfielder Deiby Flores earlier in the match.
With Argentina already leading 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Lautaro Martinez, Messi picked up the ball in midfield and attempted to launch another attack.
After turning away from an opposing player, Messi briefly lost control of the ball – allowing Flores the opportunity to take possession.
As Flores reached the ball, he turned his back towards Messi with his shoulder appearing to connect with the PSG forward's head.
Messi collapsed to the floor holding his face, while Flores raced away with the ball.
Argentina's players were clearly incensed by Flores' challenge, with several of Messi's teammates immediately running over to confront the Honduran.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo De Paul was the first to reach Flores and had to be held back by two Honduras players.
Several other Argentina players rushed over to join the scuffle as American referee Rubiel Vazquez struggled to keep a lid on things.
Throughout the altercation, Messi lay prone on the floor holding his face.
If there was a video to show how much the Argentina players love Messi, this is it. pic.twitter.com/z7iWsGkj0c— Adeyemi Adams (@EmperorYemi) September 24, 2022
Flores was eventually pushed away from the Argentina players by his goalkeeper Luis Lopez, with his removal from the situation enough to calm tempers.
Thankfully, Messi was able to get back to his feet, with Flores shown a yellow card for his challenge.
Just five minutes later, Messi had made it 2-0 to Argentina – calmly slotting home a penalty after Giovanni Lo Celso was brought down in the area.
He would grab another goal in the second half, superbly chipping Lopez with a first-time shot to seal a comfortable victory for his side.
Argentina are now unbeaten in their last 34 matches. They next face Jamaica in their penultimate warm-up match ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, with another friendly against the UAE scheduled for November 16.
The two-time winners are one of the favourites to win this winter's tournament in the Middle East.
They face Saudi Arabia in their opening match on November 22 before games against Mexico (November 26) and Poland (November 30).
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