Furious fans demanded a booking for Lionel Messi, accusing him of attempting to ‘deceive’ the referee

During the Inter Miami vs. Nashville match, disgruntled fans expressed their desire to see Lionel Messi cautioned for attempting to gain an advantageous position.

The encounter between Inter Miami and Nashville served as a continuation of their recent rivalry, particularly after their clash in the Leagues Cup final earlier this month. In that event, the Florida-based team triumphed over Nashville to secure their inaugural trophy.

In their latest meeting, this time in an MLS fixture, the two sides played to a goalless draw at the DRV PNK Stadium. Messi, although delivering a moment of brilliance with his pass to Jordi Alba, was unable to lead Inter Miami to victory.

However, it wasn’t just Messi’s impressive pass that stirred discussion. Online commentary highlighted criticisms from individuals who chastised the seven-time Ballon d’Or honoree for attempting to secure an unfair advantage during the game.

During the match, Inter Miami was granted a free-kick, with Lionel Messi preparing to take the set piece. Prior to executing the free-kick, Messi engaged in a subtle action of repeatedly adjusting the ball’s position to achieve a more favorable angle for himself.

However, the match referee detected this maneuver and instructed Messi to return the ball to its initial position, which was where the foul had occurred.

Despite the referee’s directive, Messi persisted in placing the ball at a different spot before ultimately taking the free-kick.

Lionel Messi prepares to take a free-kick. Image: Getty

Despite moving the ball, he was able to score or assist. But his trickery angered fans on social media as they slammed the Argentine.

One X user wrote: “No card for Messi lol. But Ronaldo can get his goal disallowed by doing what every football would do to get on a corner kick.”

A second added: “This is too much it’s embarrassing… there should have been a card because he kept doing it.”

A third fumed: “Should have gotten a yellow after the first warning.”

A fourth said: “He is so shameless.”

Another commented: “He has been doing this his whole career.”

Was Messi lucky to avoid a yellow card? Let us know what you think.