World Cup referee Mateu Lahoz has recently shed light on a remarkable act of sportsmanship by Argentine football star Lionel Messi. This follows a contentious quarter-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands, which took place during the Qatar World Cup in December 2022.
The game is remembered as one of the most hotly-debated encounters of the tournament, placing Spanish referee Lahoz under heavy scrutiny for his officiating decisions. During the match, Lahoz handed out an astonishing 14 yellow cards—eight to the reigning world champions and six to the Dutch side.
Lionel Messi, along with Argentina's goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, openly expressed their disapproval of Lahoz's performance, with Martinez even going as far as labeling him 'useless'. Messi also openly targeted unpleasantries toward Wout Weghorst and Dutch coach Louis van Gaal.
However, after all was said and done, Lionel Messi made a class act by personally reaching out to the referee. In a conversation with Spanish media outlet MARCA (via Olt Sports), Lahoz revealed that Messi had called him to apologize for the harsh words uttered during the heated match:
"Lionel Messi called me and apologized for the harsh words he directed at me before and after the Netherlands match."
Lahoz officiated La Liga matches from 2008 to 2023, retiring in June earlier this year. He has also refereed in several editions of the FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Messi documentary titled 'Messi Meets America' set to capture global attention with Apple TV+ Premiere
The imminent premiere of the six-part documentary series 'Messi Meets America' on Apple TV+ has generated immense global anticipation. Offering an unprecedented behind-the-scenes glimpse into Lionel Messi's blockbuster move to Inter Miami, the series promises to be a game-changer for sports documentaries.
Notably, according to GOAL, the series reveals the crucial role played by David Beckham in facilitating this high-profile transfer. Since his arrival in Florida, Messi has been nothing short of spectacular, living up to the enormous expectations that trailed him to the United States. He has already scored 11 goals and contributed five assists in 12 games.
With the Argentine legend's exploits already including a trophy in the USA, the documentary comes at an opportune moment. Apple TV+ has been documenting each significant milestone, releasing a tantalizing trailer to sate the appetite of fans eager for more of Messi.
The first three episodes of 'Messi Meets America' are slated for a global release on October 11, with the remaining segments to follow at a later date. The documentary aims not just to chronicle Messi's football exploits but also to offer a window into his life in the Sunshine State.