Copa America: 'A friend is not always right just because he's a friend', says Dani Alves on 'disrespectful' Messi
What's the story?
Brazil fullback Dani Alves has criticized former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi for making a series of bold claims regarding the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and their alleged favoritism towards the Selecao.
The 36-year-old maintains that while Messi remains a dear friend, he believes the Argentine captain was in the wrong.
In case you didn't know
Messi recently hit the front pages for hitting out at CONMEBOL following Argentina's 2-0 defeat to Brazil in the semi-finals of the Copa America.
The Barcelona talisman accused match officials of favoring the hosts after they appeared to make decisions that were against them during the game. One of the decisions involved was overlooking a penalty call for a challenge on Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero. Messi labeled the decisions as "bull****" and claimed that they distracted the Albiceleste from playing at their best.
The situation intensified when Messi was given the marching orders in his next game following a dubious altercation with Chile skipper Gary Medel. The angry 32-year-old refused to accept his medal after the game and instead slammed the CONMEBOL for setting up the tournament for Brazil to win.
The heart of the matter
Alves, who recently expressed his discontentment with Messi's comments, has further slammed the Argentine as "disrespectful" in an interview on SporTV's 'Bem Amigos'.
The former Barcelona defender said, "A friend is not always right just because he's a friend. You can say it in the heat of the moment, but I still won't agree."
"Firstly, he's disrespecting an institution such as the Selecao, in my view. Secondly, he's being disrespectful with several professionals who put a lot of things aside so they could be there fighting for a dream."
He added, "I'm a friend who always tells the truth when it's due, and I think he was wrong for saying these things."
Messi could be reprimanded with a two-year ban from international football for his comments, which means he could miss out on the 2022 qualifying games and the next edition of the Copa America.