Misleading: Lionel Messi wiped the floor with a Mexico jersey after winning a match in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022.

By: Sanyukta Dharmadhikari
December 8 2022

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Misleading: Lionel Messi wiped the floor with a Mexico jersey after winning a match in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022.


The Verdict Misleading

A video of Argentinian skipper Messi inadvertently kicking a Mexico jersey is being shared with a misleading claim that he "wiped the floor" with it.

Claim ID 31917624


After Argentina's 2-0 victory over Mexico in the FIFA World Cup 2022, a video of the South American team's celebrations in the dressing room has been widely shared online with the claim that skipper Lionel Messi wiped the floor with a Mexico football jersey. Screenshots from the video were also shared with claims that Messi "disrespected" the Mexico jersey. One such post claiming that Messi wiped the floor with the Mexico team jersey was shared by Instagram user ‘thefootballersfeed’ on November 28. The video has garnered over 800 likes and has been viewed over 29,000 times so far. 

The issue of Messi allegedly disrespecting Mexico snowballed into a controversy when Mexican professional boxer Canelo Alvarez tweeted (originally in Spanish): "You saw Messi cleaning the floor with our jersey and flag?" In another tweet, Alvarez also issued a warning to Messi for purportedly not showing due respect for Mexico. However, we have found that the claim that Messi wiped the floor with the jersey is misleading.

 In Fact

The original video used for this claim shows the Argentina team celebrating their 2-0 win over Mexico on November 26. The video shows bottles, jerseys, shoes, and socks strewn around the dressing room floor as the team chant a song to mark their victory. The Mexican flag was nowhere to be spotted on the floor.

 A close look at the video shows that Messi seems to have inadvertently kicked the jersey kept at his feet while stretching his leg out to take his shoe off. The video ends there, and there is no indication that Messi wiped the floor with the jersey. 

The outrage against Messi's alleged "disrespectful” behavior gathered steam after Canelo Alvarez's tweet alleging that Messi "wiped the floor with the jersey and the flag" and that "just as he respects Argentina, Messi should respect Mexico." He had also tweeted that the Mexican jersey being on the floor was an "insult."

 Former Argentinian football player Sergio Aguero, a friend of Messi, responded to Alvarez on Twitter, saying that the boxer "does not know about football and what happens in dressing rooms,” noting that "jerseys are usually on the floor as they are sweaty.” He also pointed out in the tweet that Messi did not mean to kick the jersey intentionally, and his boot accidentally came in contact with it.

Spanish footballer Cesc Fàbregas, who was also Messi's teammate at FC Barcelona, also ruled out any intentional disrespect to the jersey and clarified that "most jerseys are kept on the floor after the match as they are sweaty", and that Messi accidentally touched the jersey with his foot.  

Responding to the allegations, Lionel Messi's manager Marcelo Méndez also dismissed any intention behind Messi's foot accidentally touching the Mexico jersey. Méndez told CNN that Messi making contact with the jersey was not a kick "as everyone can see on the footage."

 Following the responses by other footballers, Alvarez, considered by many as "one of the best pound-for-pound boxers," issued an apology for his comments on Messi. Taking to Twitter on November 30, he wrote: "These last few days I got carried away by the passion and love I feel for my country and made comments that were out of place for which I want to apologize to Messi and the people of Argentina. Every day we learn something new and this time it was my turn." 

The Verdict

Logically found no indication that Lionel Messi intentionally kicked a Mexican jersey during the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The Argentinian did appear to touch a Mexican jersey accidentally, but the claim that he "wiped the floor" with the shirt is untrue. Therefore, we mark this claim as misleading.

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