Lionel Messi News: Thiago Silva slams Messi for "playing the referee" during Barcelona's famous Champions League comeback against PSG

Brazil v Peru: Final - Copa America Brazil 2019
Sayan Chatterjee
Brazil v Peru: Final - Copa America Brazil 2019

What's the story?

Brazil defender Thiago Silva has claimed that Lionel Messi influenced the referee during Barcelona's famous comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of the 2016-17 Champions League.

Earlier, Messi claimed that the Copa America 2019 was set up for Brazil, following Argentina's elimination from the tournament and his controversial red-card incident against Chile.

In case you didn't know...

Brazil won the Copa America title by defeating Peru in the final on Sunday. Goals from Everton Soares, Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison helped the Selecao win 3-1 and clinch the Copa America trophy after 12 years.

On the other hand, Argentina were defeated 2-0 in the semi-finals by the host nation. After the game, Argentina captain Messi claimed that the officials didn't consult VAR for La Albiceleste's penalty appeals.

Argentina managed to edge past Chile to secure third-place finish in the tournament, but Messi was sent off, along with Gary Medel, due to a stand-off between the two players in the 37th minute of the match. Messi accused the CONMEBOL of corruption and claimed that they were favouring the host nation, Brazil.

The heart of the matter

Brazil won the Copa America after beating Peru and Silva didn't hide his frustration regarding Messi's comments in the post-match conference.

Speaking after the game, Silva said:

“This is difficult for us to comment on because sometimes when there is some defeat, we try to focus at other people as the cause.
“I do not think he meant badly, but we are sad because, in the game we lost 6-1 to Barcelona (the PSG versus Barcelona round-of-16 second-leg match in the 2016-17 Champions League), he played the referee, which, in my opinion, was ridiculous.
“But, we did not give any statement that said that the referee was partial to Barcelona. I think we have to respect the story.
“We do not have the five stars (referring to the five stars on Brazil’s crest – indicating each of their World Cup wins so far) for random reasons. None of them was gained through cheating. They all are the results of playing well on the pitch.”

What's next?

It remains to be seen whether the CONMEBOL take any strict action against Messi for his comments.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar


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