After Argentina suffered a surprising defeat by Uruguay in the 2026 World Cup qualifier, Lionel Messi expressed his views in a post-match interview. Messi, who was captured grabbing the neck of Napoli and Uruguay player Mathias Olivera, was vocal about his observations on the behavior of the Uruguayan team.
Messi praised Marcelo Bielsa for his impactful work with the Uruguay squad, acknowledging the team as a formidable opponent. He stated, “You can see Bielsa’s hand in the way Uruguay is playing. His distinctive style is recognizable in all national teams and clubs, including Argentina. They have a good generation of players, making them an intense team. It was challenging for us to impose our game against their physical and fast midfield players. We never felt comfortable, couldn’t maintain possession for long periods, and the game was played at a fast pace, which isn’t the best for us.”
Addressing an incident involving Urgarte on the pitch, Messi emphasized the importance of respect among players. He commented, “I prefer not to say what I think about some gestures. But these young people have to learn to respect their elders. This game was always intense and hard, but always with a lot of respect. They have to learn a little bit.”