Manuel Ugarte made his thoughts known on Rodrigo de Paul during Uruguay’s clash against Argentina on Friday.
The two south American giants were involved in a feisty World Cup qualifier in Buenos Aires, with Uruguay coming away 2-0 victors.
Goals from Barcelona defender Ronald Aurajo and Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez sealed the win for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, leaving them just two points behind their rivals in the qualifying standings.
Tensions were high from the get-go, with Messi escaping a red card for an elbow and throat grab on his opponent.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Ugarte had some choice words for his opposite number, De Paul just 21 minutes into the action.
During a mini brawl between both sets of players, Ugarte made an outrageous gesture to the Atletico Madrid man, before pointing to Messi.
Fans reckon he was referencing De Paul’s protective nature over the seven time Ballon d’Or winner, brutally calling him “Messi’s suck up”.
— ataque futbolero pedofilo (@Borjalglesias) November 17, 2023
Speaking to reporters after the game, Messi made mention to Ugarte’s gesture, suggesting he needed to “learn respect”.
“I prefer not to say what I think about some gestures,” the World Cup winner said.
“But these young people have to learn to respect from their elders. This game was always intense and hard but always with a lot of respect. They have to learn a little bit.”