'I wanted to die' — Uruguay youngster regrets disrespecting Messi and Argentina

Lionel Messi and Argentina during the heated game against Uruguay. (Photo Credit: Pooja Media/X)

'I wanted to die' — Uruguay youngster regrets disrespecting Messi and Argentina

Ayoola Kelechi 23:33 - 24.11.2023

After a clash with Lionel Messi and Rodrigo De Paul, Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte has expressed regret over his actions and offered an apology to the injured party

Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte, who famously clashed with Lionel Messi and Rodrigo De Paul, has apologised to the Argentines for his behaviour during a heated World Cup qualifier between the two countries.

Uruguay beat Argentina in ill-tempered World Cup qualifier

Uruguay beat Argentina 1-0 in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Buenos Aires to end the Albiceleste’s 14-match unbeaten run, inflicting defeat on the World Champions for the first time since the opening match of the 2022 World Cup against Saudi Arabia.

During the match, Uruguayan midfielder Ugarte confronted Argentina’s De Paul, reportedly accusing him of being a lap dog to Messi.

Messi reacted by strangling Ugarte and later noted after the match that “young players need to learn respect,” referring to the incident with the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder.

Following the outrage over the incident, Ugarte has expressed regrets over his actions during the match against Argentina, saying that he could not believe what he had done when he watched a replay.

Ugarte regrets ugly incident against Argentina

Speaking after the incident, Ugarte said, “When I was told that one of my gestures had gone viral, I didn’t understand. Then I saw it and I wanted to die. It’s not good.”

The former Sporting CP midfielder elaborated on his regret, saying, “In the moment, I didn’t really realise. I probably did it without realising it. When I was told it had gone viral, I didn’t even remember what I’d done. Then I saw it and I said: I’m an animal!

Ugarte offered a remorseful apology to De Paul specifically, saying, “Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, I do things that I shouldn’t do. I haven’t spoken with him but of course, I want to apologise because it’s something that has gone viral, but as he said, it stays on the pitch.”

Lionel Messi chokesUgarte during the game against Uruguay. (Photo Credit: Henry Knight/X)

After the loss to Uruguay, Argentina bounced back with a win over Brazil, but that match was also stained by another on-pitch incident.

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