Monterrey coach apologises after calling Messi ‘possessed dwarf’

Audio of Sánchez discussing the locker room confrontation leaked through Fox Sports MX. “The dwarf was possessed, he had the face of the devil,” Sánchez said
Monterrey coach apologises after calling Messi ‘possessed dwarf’

Monterrey coach apologises after calling Messi ‘possessed dwarf’Monterrey assistant coach Nico Sánchez issued an apology after audio leaked of him calling Lionel Messi a “dwarf” and saying Messi had “the face of the devil”.

Monterrey assistant coach Nico Sánchez issued an apology after audio leaked of him calling Lionel Messi a “dwarf” and saying Messi had “the face of the devil”.

Monterrey beat Messi’s Inter Miami 2-1 in the first-leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup last week.

Before the match, Monterrey head coach Fernando Ortiz said he was concerned about Miami receiving preferential treatment from the game’s officials due to the Argentinian’s celebrity status.

“Everything that surrounds Messi can lead to sporting and non-sporting decisions,” Ortiz said.

“I am concerned about the environment, football is business, business does not go the way of Monterrey.”

Messi did not play in the first leg, but made his return from an injury in a 2-2 draw against Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

USA Today reported that after the first-leg in Miami, there was a confrontation involving Messi, Jordi Alba, Luis Suárez and Miami coach Tata Martino in a mixed zone outside the visitors’ locker room.

The argument reportedly stemmed from Miami’s players approaching the match officials in the stadium tunnel after the game.

Miami were shown six yellow cards and a red card during the match, with Monterrey picking up three bookings.

Audio of Sánchez discussing the locker room confrontation leaked through Fox Sports MX. “The dwarf was possessed, he had the face of the devil,” Sánchez said.

“He put his fist next to my face and says: ‘Who do you think you are?’ But because I didn’t look at him, I was looking away, I never answered back, it made things worse.

“And Tata Martino, what a poor dummy, I had him in front of me telling me: ‘Fool, you going to cry? Fool you going to cry?’ What a dummy!

“All those videos, they probably erased them all because it leaves them looking bad. What they did was really serious. They want to dirty the pitch.”

Sánchez apologised to Martino in a video posted on social media. “Since I do not know the Inter coach, Gerardo Martino, and I referred to him in a disrespectful manner, and I apologise,” Sánchez said.

“I am as Argentine as all of them and I will always defend my club. I’m here to show my face and take charge.”

Sánchez did not mention Messi by name in his apology video.

Messi has missed two months of the MLS season with a hamstring injury. He scored 12 minutes into his return against the Rapids after coming off the bench in the second-half and is expected to be available for the second leg against Monterrey in Mexico on Wednesday.

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