Lionel Messi had a game to forget as Argentina were battered 3-0 by Croatia in the World Cup on Thursday evening.
The Barcelona forward – widely considered to be the best player on the planet – looked stressed from the off as the Argentina team lined up for their national anthem ahead of the group game.
The Daily Mirror of UK reports that Messi failed to make any impact on the match as Croatia dominated the two-time winners of the competition.
Fans took to social media to comment on Messi throughout the match; first to point out how stressed he looked with the weight of a nation’s expectations on his shoulders, and then to try and find a reason as to why he appeared so lost on the pitch.
Viewers then noticed an exchange between Messi and Ivan Strinic, and many were stunned by the way in which the Argentine reacted.
Messi is known for being a calm and collected character who never play acts, dives or looks for trouble, but rather gets on with his game.
He also avoids confrontation with other players, choosing to let his football do the talking rather than portray himself as overly macho and unnecessarily aggressive.
However, in the later stages of Thursday night’s defeat, Messi reacted angrily after crashing to the ground with Strinic, who accidentally made contact with his face.
Climbing to his feet, Messi threw the Croatian’s leg to one side.
The incident passed without punishment, but fans on social media brought attention to it, with many saying they’d never seen Messi react in this way before.