Paulo Dybala, one of the most exciting rising stars in world football, made his first start for Argentina against Uruguay on Thursday - but the dream quickly turned into a nightmare for the Juventus forward.
The 22-year-old was shown a red card on the stroke of half-time during the 2018 World Cup qualifier in Mendoza following two bookable offences.
For Messi, the Albiceleste captain, the incident must have brought back painful memories of his own international debut back in 2005.
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The Barcelona superstar left the pitch in tears after he was sent off just 40 seconds into his first appearance for the Argentina national team against Hungary.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Messi reacted badly to Dybala’s red card.
Video: Dybala leaves the pitch in tears
Like the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Dybala left the pitch in tears following his red card.
Video: Messi's reaction to Dybala's red card
Seconds later, as soon as the half-time whistle was blown, Messi made a beeline for Julio Bascunan and was visibly perturbed by the Chilean referee’s decision.
The 29-year-old, along with Javier Mascherano and members of the Argentina staff, surrounded the match official in search of answers - but the damage had already been done.
Mascherano: Dybala should follow Messi's lead
Remembering Messi’s red card for 11 years ago, Mascherano urged Dybala to follow in the Barcelona maestro’s footsteps by bouncing back from this setback.
"I told him the same thing had happened to Messi when he started in the national team," Mascherano was quoted as saying by Goal. "And look how it went afterwards."
Messi scored the winning goal
Messi scored the winning goal two minutes prior to Dybala’s red card.
Despite their man disadvantage, the 2014 World Cup finalists held on to secure three precious points.
Can Paulo Dybala become one of the world’s best players? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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