Lionel Messi opens up on famous ‘bobo’ row with Wout Weghorst
Lionel Messi has admitted his argument with Wout Weghorst following Argentina’s penalty shootout win against the Netherlands at the World Cup was ‘natural’ and not a planned tirade.
La Albiceleste eliminated the Oranje on their way to glory in Qatar, prevailing in a tense and heated affair at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Goals from Nahuel Molina and Messi saw Argentina lead 2-0 heading into the closing stages of the quarter-final, but a last-gasp brace from Weghorst pulled the Netherlands level.
Argentina won 4-3 on penalties to advance to the semi-finals, but their feud with the Netherlands did not end there.
After the Dutch camp spent the days leading up to the fixture talking down to their opponents – Messi in particular – emotions spilled over on the pitch and the match ended with Argentina players taunting their Netherlands counterparts.
While being interviewed in the mixed zone, Messi spotted Weghorst staring at him, to which he famously replied ‘what are you looking at, bobo [fool]?’.
In an interview with Argentine journalist Andy Kusnetzoff, Messi recalled the heated exchange with the now Manchester United striker.
When asked if he prepared such an insult for Weghorst, Messi replied:
“The truth is no. I didn’t like it. It came out at the moment and yes, I knew what had been said before the game, what he had said.
“Some of my teammates told me ‘did you see what he said’ on purpose. We went 2-0 [up] and then at the time, I don’t like what I did, what happened later with the ‘bobo’. These are moments of great tension, a lot of anxiousness, everything happens very quickly and you don’t have time to think about anything. Actually, nothing was planned, it happened like that and as I say, it isn’t an image I like to give off.
“Everything that came out was natural, a lot had happened on the field with that player, in reality and a couple more. At the moment of tension, friction, confrontations, when the game goes like that, the heat with the referee too. I was in the mixed zone and the game had just finished. And well, I know there’s all sorts now.”