Lionel Messi encouraged Uruguay’s players to show respect for their elders following Manuel Ugarte’s inappropriate gesture towards Rodrigo De Paul in Argentina’s loss on Thursday.
Uruguay secured victory with goals from Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez in a heated World Cup qualifier at La Bombonera.
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Messi faced a confrontation during the match, and Ugarte’s unsavory gesture towards De Paul occurred when he stepped in to defend the Argentine captain.
When asked about Ugarte’s conduct, Messi said after the match: ‘I prefer not to say what I think about some gestures.
‘Young people have to learn to respect their elders. Argentina – Uruguay was always a tough classic, but with respect, they have to learn a little.’
Messi commended Uruguay for their impressive turnaround under Marcelo Bielsa. With their victory on Thursday night, Uruguay now holds the second position in the South American World Cup qualifying table, trailing behind Argentina.
‘You can see Bielsa’s hand on the way Uruguay is playing,’ Messi said.
‘In all the national teams or clubs, including Argentina, his style was very recognisable. And he has a good generation of players.
‘They are an intense team and it was difficult for us to play our game.
‘They have physical and fast players in the midfield. We never feel comfortable and we didn’t find a way to posses the ball for a long period of time.
‘So the game was played on a fast pace and we fall for that style, which isn’t the best for us.
‘We never felt comfortable in this match. Uruguay are a physical team, they have good teamwork. It is always like that against them.’