During the World Cup 2026 qualifiers, the tense match between Uruguay and Argentina (2-0) was marked by an incident involving Lionel Messi and Manuel Ugarte, the Uruguayan midfielder from PSG.
The rivalry between Uruguay and Argentina reached a boiling point, with Ugarte crudely criticizing De Paul, often considered Messi’s “bodyguard” on the field.
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Ugarte reportedly directed an expletive towards De Paul, stating “c**k sucker” according to TyC Sports.
Messi, an eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, responded to this inappropriate behavior. “It’s normal in these kinds of matches, the qualifiers… Against Uruguay, it’s always like this. I prefer not to say what I think,” said the former Barcelona star, now with Inter Miami. “This classic has always been intense, tough, but always with a lot of respect. They need to learn a bit.”