Marca have published a controversial update to the Lionel Messi - Alvaro Gonzalez altercation that took place during the Copa del Rey tie between Barcelona and Espanyol at Cornella on Wednesday night.
The first video was quite comical: Alvaro attempted to wind-up Messi by calling him ‘really short’ before the five-time Ballon d’Or winner hit back by saying he was ‘really bad’.
But now Marca have published additional footage - obtained by the cameras of ‘Antena 3’ and ‘La Sexta’ - which shows Messi spitting at the floor, in the general direction of the Espanyol defender.
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In their article, Marca write: “The problems began when Álvaro elbowed the Argentine as he tried to shimmy past him. Messi responded with verbal recriminations before spitting at the feet of the 'Blanquiazules' centre-back.
“That was when the war of words began, with Álvaro calling him "shorty" and Messi telling his opponent that he was a "very bad player".
Video: New footage emerges
Serious accusation by Marca
To suggest that Messi deliberately spat at the feet of Alvaro is a serious accusation - spitting at an opponent, in the eyes of many, is considered one of the worst things a player can do on a football pitch.
The video footage doesn’t provide conclusive evidence as to whether Messi actually spat at the defender. We’d like to think that there’s no chance the world’s best player would ever dream of doing such a thing.
Given that Marca are a pro-Real Madrid newspaper, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise that they suggest Messi sparked the war of words by spitting at his opponent’s feet.
What do you think of Marca’s controversial claim? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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