The Canelo Álvarez and Lionel Messi beef had one more round in it, even after Álvarez apologized for his comments against the Argentinian. Because after the dust had settled and Argentina had qualified for the knockout stages of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, Messi was asked about the situation, and the Argentinian star took the time to make it clear that he had never, and would never, disrespect Mexico or its people.
Messi’s categorizing of the whole thing as a “misunderstanding,” and his further comments saying that “anyone who knows me knows I never disrespect anyone, and it’s just part of the locker room, what happens after a match, leaving the shirt there” echo what people who had come to Messi’s defense, including Messi’s close friend and former teammate Sergio Agüero, and Mexico National Team captain Andrés Guardado, had said.
The Argentinian star also was clear that he didn’t feel the need to ask for forgiveness, because he hadn’t “disrespected the people of Mexico, Mexico’s shirt or anyone.”
Ironically, during the last Group C matches in the World Cup, the Álvarez controversy became the center of memes, not just for the back and forth but because Mexico’s elimination from the 2022 World Cup came via goal difference between Mexico and Poland, where Argentina was playing.
This meant that another goal from Argentina could have helped Mexico get closer to the knockout stages. And yes, Lionel Messi did miss a penalty kick during the first half of the game. But not even Canelo Álvarez could claim the fútbol did that on purpose, or to hurt the Mexican National team.