Lionel Messi is nearly universally recognized as being the greatest player of his generation. Many, if not most, pundits consider him the best to ever put on a pair of boots and kick a ball.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner—including, rather controversially, this year’s—is not short of accolades. And yet, a single perceived slight from a single English pundit, standing up for arguably the best player in the world right now, who also happens to play for his former team, is apparently enough to deeply offend Messi.
So what did former Liverpool player turned pundit Jamie Carragher do to offend the 34-year-old Messi? He left the Argentinian out of his team of the year in favor of Mohamed Salah. Oh, the horror.
“It was on Monday Night Football and I got a private message on Instagram,’ Carragher explained last night on Sky Sports. “From the man [Messi] himself. I will not be showing private messages but he basically called me a donkey.”
Carra took it in stride, but refused to back down.
“He watches Monday Night Football so hopefully he’s watching Friday Night Football as well because Lionel, I absolutely love you.
“Greatest player of all time and compared to you I was a donkey. You know, I accept that, but you’re not getting in this team.”
Carragher is in good company. Messi also called another Liverpool legend, James Milner, a donkey in 2019.
It’s a funny incident, but it’s actually sad that Messi is so thin-skinned and worried about his public perception in the twilight of his stellar career. Literally no one, including Carragher himself, considers Salah to be better than Messi was during his insanely long peak.
If anyone should be offended, it should be Salah, who really should be considered among the top 1-2 players in the world right now. And unlike Messi, who was just left out of a pundit’s list, Salah was snubbed by FIFA just this week.