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Fans think Lionel Messi brutally snubbed LA Galaxy player's request after heated exchange in Inter Miami clash

Fans think Lionel Messi brutally snubbed LA Galaxy player's request after heated exchange in Inter Miami clash

Messi wasn't happy.

Lionel Messi twice sparked controversy during Inter Miami's recent game against LA Galaxy.

Messi is adored by football fans the world over, including his fellow professionals.

Since the Argentine icon joined Inter Miami last summer, it has become common for Major League Soccer players to approach him during games and also ask for his jersey after full-time.

After all, it's not every day you share a pitch with arguably the greatest player of all time.

However, Messi has come under criticism recently for the way he has appeared to deal with requests for his shirt.

After scoring an injury-time equaliser in his side's 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy on Sunday night, the World Cup winner appeared to reject Eriq Zavaleta's request.

Footage appeared to show Messi ignoring a greeting from the Salvadoran defender, who tried to speak to him after the game.

Messi continued to walk away, and a few seconds later turned in Zavaleta's direction and appeared to say, according to fans, "No, I'm not giving it to you," in reference to his jersey request.

Messi drew criticism for his behaviour, with fans and pundits arguing he should behave with more humility.

Some have suggested that the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner is more approachable with Argentine players than other MLS stars.

However, two days after the game Zavaleta took to X to deny that he ever asked Messi for his jersey.

When asked by a follower when he asked Messi for his shirt, the Galaxy star replied: "I never spoke to him lol. He’s clearly mad at the refs but agendas..."

Messi caused controversy earlier in the match when he clashed head-to-head with LA Galaxy midfielder Edwin Cerrillo, with Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets also getting involved.

"At first, I was surprised that he [Messi] was talking to me, so I didn't understand or remember the first thing he said," Cerrillo said.

"He was serious, and at that moment, I knew I needed to remain calm because it was early in the game.

"He knows what he's doing, and maybe he wanted to get into my head. Like with anyone, I wasn't going to stay quiet.

"What he said will stay with me; it's something I'll always remember, and I'll keep it to myself."

Featured Image Credit: MLS & Getty

Topics: Fan Reactions, Lionel Messi, Inter Miami, MLS, Football, USA