Lionel Messi, Inter Miami
Lionel Messi has not played for Inter Miami since suffering a muscle injury against Nashville SC on March 14 Via CBS Sports/Getty Images

SEATTLE - After suffering a 2-1 defeat to Liga MX club Monterrey during the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinals, reports started surfacing all over social media suggesting that Inter Miami players had an altercation with Monterrey players and staff.

Everything started the day prior to the game, with Rayados coach Fernando Ortiz suggesting during an interview with journalist Santiago Fourcade that, Inter Miami star and club captain Lionel Messi receives some sort of special treatment from officials and that "everything that surrounds Messi can lead to sporting and non-sporting decisions".

When asked if he was worried about what his team could be up against in the first leg in Miami Ortiz answered "obviously," with no hesitation. "I don't know if they will hurt us but the business is there...we all know it, it's not like I am saying something that nobody is aware of," he added.

These words seemed to have ticked Messi off, as him and some of his veteran teammates reportedly confronted Ortiz after the game and followed him all the way to the visitor's locker room. According to news outlets Récord and TUDN, Luis Suárez, Jordi Alba and others complained to the referee right after the game, while Messi and Ortiz had a heated argument near the locker rooms. The Rayados coach neither denied nor confirmed the incidents but said during the post-game press conference that "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

More than 24 hours later, the Liga MX club has filled a complaint to CONCACAF against Inter Miami and Messi's behavior,

Messi's heated argument with Monterrey is one of a few incidents the Argentine has had throughout his career. A passionate player, the Argentine doesn't shy away from altercations during and after games.

"¿Que mirás bobo? Andá pa allá"

Perhaps the most famous incident of Messi breaking his mold was during Argentina's World Cup tie against the Netherlands in Qatar 2022. After a rocky and crazy game, emotions in both camps were at an all-time high, detonating in the tunnel with Argentina players confronting Dutch players and staff after the "Albiceleste" advanced to the semifinals via a penalty shootout.

The incident went viral when an emotional Messi, talking to a reporter, reacted to a Dutch player nearby and telling him to "get lost."

Heated Río de la Plata Derby

A few months after Argentina lifted the World Cup in Qatar, the Argentina squad starred in another altercation, this time around during the Río de la Plata derby against Uruguay.

One of the most heated rivalries in the history of the sport, their clash in November 2023 wasn't short on emotions, as both sets of players went at it early on. After Uruguay's Manuel Ugarte fouled Messi right outside the box, things got out of hand as both Argentines and Uruguayans disagreed with the call.

Enzo Fernández and Rodrigo De Paul tried to stand up for their teammate who was still recovering from the tackle, but several Uruguayans had Ugarte's back and pushed back the "Albiceleste" players

Verbal confrontation after stomping incident during Catalan Derby

Still during his Barcelona days, Messi had another confrontation that ended in a locker room dispute during the 2016 Catalan Derby against Espanyol. During the game, Espanyol goalkeeper Pau López "accidentally" stomped Messi after the Argentine collided with the goalkeeper during a Barcelona attack.

An angry Messi confronted López, but things escalated after the game when Barcelona teammates Javier Mascherano and Luis Suárez followed López to the locker room. According to the officials report after the game, staff members and players "helped simmering things down" after a heated conversation between both sets of players.

Months after this incident, the Espanyol goalkeeper was caught in the middle of another stomping aggression, this time against Suárez, who made sure the goalkeeper was aware of his disapproval.

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