Thiago Silva slams Lionel Messi for influencing referee's decisions


Three months on and Lionel Messi has picked up right where he left off - in a bitter dispute with Brazil.

The Argentine returned for his country on Friday night following his ban for claiming the Copa America was fixed in the Selecao's favour.

Despite missing a penalty, the forward scored the rebound and earned the Albiceleste a 1-0 win. 

Tite was left to rue the cruel twist of fate that meant the Barcelona star's international comeback coincided with facing his side.

The Brazil boss himself got in a dispute with Messi after telling the referee to book him, while he also felt the 32-year-old went down easily to win the spot-kick.

That sentiment seems to have trickled down to his players too, with Thiago Silva also irate at how the officials handled the five-time Ballon d'Or winner. 

SPORT quote the PSG defender:

"He kicked two people and the referee did nothing. I argued with the ref and he kept laughing. You have to put admiration to one side. 

"He always looks to force the referee to give them free-kicks in dangerous areas, he always acts in that way. We spoke with some players who play in Spain and the same thing happens, he looks to control the game and the referee's decisions.


"In the Champions League he doesn't have that advantage because the referees are tougher. You don't see him trying to rule so much.

"There are referees that, because of their admiration for him, start to weigh in on his side. That we didn't have Neymar on our side was a disadvantage."

It's a scathing attack from the Brazil skipper, who was also angry at Messi's behaviour towards Tite. He added: 

"It's hard to understand when we talk about respect on the pitch, and one of the most admired players in the world does that, you don't do that to an older person but being that it was a coach... as much as there is rivalry, respect has to come first."

It's fair to say that Messi hasn't always covered himself in glory while playing for Argentina in the way he's conducted himself on the pitch.

Unsurprisingly, given the bad blood that preceded last night's game, Brazil have had enough. 

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