The World Cup raises tensions and tempers across the globe, and not even hugely successful and talented athletes like Canelo Alvarez are immune to it.
The boxing legend sent a harsh, vaguely threatening message to Argentina star Lionel Messi on Sunday, one day after Argentina beat Alvarez's Mexico 2-0. He wasn't angry about the game specifically, but something that had happened in the locker room after. He'd seen a video that showed Messi apparently kicking a Mexico jersey and wasn't happy with what he considered to be the intentional disrespecting of his country's jersey.
“Did you see Messi cleaning the floor with our shirt and flag????” Alvarez tweeted, according to CNN.
“He better pray to God that I don’t find him!!” Alvarez added in another tweet. “Just like I respect Argentina, he has to respect Mexico! I’m not talking about the country as a whole, just about the bulls**t that Messi pulled.”
If you haven't seen the video and have only read Alvarez's tweets, you're probably assuming that Messi grabbed a Mexican jersey and intentionally stomped all over it, then dragged around the room with his foot while cackling evilly. But once you watch the video, the scene wasn't quite as intense as you might have believed. Messi appeared to have accidentally touched the jersey with one of his feet while he was trying to take his shoes off, and didn't seem to notice that it was a Mexico jersey.
One of Messi's former teammates, Sergio Aguero, tweeted at Alvarez to try and clear things up.
“Mr. Canelo, don’t look for excuses or problems, surely you don’t know about football and what happens in a changing room," Aguero tweeted via CNN. "The shirts are always on the floor after games have finished due to sweat and then if you look properly, he makes the movement to remove his boot and accidentally hits it.”
Spain football legend Cesc Fabregas also came to his former Barcelona teammate's defense, pointing out that "ALL T-shirts, including the ones we use ourselves, go on the floor and are washed afterward":