'Bullsh*t!' Lionel Messi rages at Brazil and officials after Copa America loss to arch rivals
Lionel Messi accused Brazil players of 'bullsh*t' calls and officials of 'bias' as his torturous wait for national team glory was prolonged when Argentina were dumped out of Copa America 2-0 by the hosts in Wednesday's semifinal.
Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino in each half in Belo Horizonte booked Brazil's ticket in Sunday's final and made sure Messi would have to wait for another crack at that elusive trophy with Argentina.
After the game, Barcelona's all-time leading scorer took aim at the match officials, whom he accused of favoring the hosts in the match, singling out their refusal to use VAR during the match as a particular point of grievance.
Messi believed Ecuadorian referee Roddy Zambrano should have awarded his side a penalty after a foul on Sergio Aguero moments before Firimino doubled Brazil's lead. The incident was not even passed over for VAR referral.
"They were not better than us. They found the net early and the second goal came from a penalty they didn't award," Messi told reporters.
"The officiating was crazy. There were clear penalties, on [Nicolas] Otamendi, on Sergio Aguero. [The referee] was on their side. In every divided ball or dispute, he inclined the pitch their way.
"They [the officials] had called a lot of bulls**t, but they didn't even check the VAR, that's unbelievable.
"That happened all over the game. At the first glance of contact, they ruled in their [Brazil's] favour and this kind of bulls**t distracted us from the game.
“Throughout the tournament they called bulls**t handballs, bulls**t penalties, and bulls**t fouls. But somehow today, they refused to use VAR."
Messi went on to admit that his team had "no excuses" for the loss, but urged CONMEBOL to look into the incidents, although he expressed doubt that any real action would be taken, as Brazil "commands too much power" within the organization.
The defeat is likely to heavily impact on the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who quit international football in 2016 after Argentina's Copa America final disappointment, only to return after outcry from the entire nation.Also on rt.com Messi ‘is not having his best Copa America’ – but that might be a good thing for Argentina