Yerry Mina has stated that he will always respect Lionel Messi despite the 34-year-old Argentinian taunting the Colombian during the 2021 Copa America semifinals.
Speaking at an event in Colombia (via Barca Blaugranes), Yerry Mina said that he has immense respect for Lionel Messi. He also thanked Messi for his support during his time at Barcelona.
“What happened with Leo is something that can happen at any moment, this is football. Life has cycles, it gives [opportunities for] revenge, but I am calm because I know that Leo is a great person. I met him at Barcelona and I thank him for the support that he gave me, I will always respect him,” the defender reflected. "I admire Messi for what he is, at that time we were both defending our National Team."
During the Copa America semifinal, Lionel Messi was heard shouting "Now, dance" after Yerry Mina had his penalty saved by Emiliano Martinez. This was a reference to the Colombian's celebration after scoring a penalty against Uruguay in the quarterfinals.
Despite the taunts, Mina said what happened on the pitch was left there as emotions were running high. He added that he holds no grudge against Messi.
“If I could give my life for my national team, I would give it, but what happened was left [out on the pitch], there’s nothing to it.”
Mina and Messi were teammates at Barcelona. However, the Colombian international played just five La Liga games before being sold to Everton in 2018 for €30 million.
Lionel Messi led Argentina to their first Copa America triumph in 28 years
Lionel Messi guided Argentina to their first Copa America win in 28 years. In turn, it was Messi's first international trophy with the Albiceleste.
Over the course of the tournament, the 34-year-old scored four goals and assisted a further five times to lead Argentina over the line. In the final, Messi and his men faced home favorites Brazil. However, a first-half goal from Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria was enough for Argentina to end their trophy drought.
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