Lionel Messi is left behind after a Luis Martinez horror film as Argentine media criticize the Venezuelan star for the ‘CRIMINAL’ challenge… but the superstar is unharmed and helps his country win in the World Cup qualifier
- Lionel Messi was on the receiving end of a horror tackle during international duty
- The 34-year-old was left stranded after a reckless tackle by Luis Martinez
- The Venezuelan defender was sacked after Argentina took a 3-1 win
- Argentine media described the challenge as ‘criminal’ and worthy of imprisonment
Lionel Messi was on the receiving end of a tackle described as ‘criminal’ by the Argentine media during their win over Venezuela on Thursday, but the 34-year-old escaped unscathed and was a huge relief for fans of Paris Saint-Pierre. Germain.
Messi took to the field for his country for the first time since sealing his high-profile move to Barcelona’s PSG, with the cramped Catalans financially unable to meet the Argentine’s contract demands.
The 34-year-old made his first appearance for the Parisians from the bench in their 2-0 win over Reims on Sunday and is now back in South America to represent the Copa America champions in their World Cup qualifier in Venezuela.
Lionel Messi was on the receiving end of a horror tackle during his international service
Luis Martinez of Venezuela made contact just below the knee in a thoroughbred challenge
Messi was left in a heap on the grass watching the supporters of his new club PSG
Yet Messi’s game came to a close for half an hour after being left in a heap after a thoroughbred tackle from Luis Adrian Martinez.
The Venezuelan defender slightly lost his footing as he tried to seal off the Argentinian and his studs made contact high up on Messi’s leg, leaving PSG fans furious.
The referee, with the help of VAR, sent Martinez off with a straight red card and after a treatment on the pitch, Messi was fit to continue as Argentina sealed a 3-1 win.
However, Martinez’s challenge sparked the ire of the Argentine media, with TyC describing the tackle as a “criminal kick Messi could have broken” and “worthy of prison”.
Tempers flared between the two sets of players when Messi got attention. Martinez was sent away
The 34-year-old was able to continue and Argentina rounded out a comfortable 3-1 win
The South American champions took the lead just before half-time via Lautato Martinez, after they had shot a sharp pass from Giovani Lo Celso at the keeper.
Tottenham star Lo Celso, alongside Aston Villa duo Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia, ignored Premier League orders not to go on international service to red-listed countries and is expected to go into quarantine on their return to England.
With a men’s advantage, the visitors had the most ball in the second half and in the 71st and 74th minutes, substitutes Joaquin Correa and Angel Correa scored twice more.
Yeferson Soteldo scored a consolation penalty for Venezuela in injury time. Thursday’s win extends Argentina’s unbeaten record to 21 games.