Head coach who squared up to Lionel Messi and delivered crude insult apologises

Monterrey assistant coach Nico Sánchez issued an apology after calling Lionel Messi a “dwarf” (Image: Getty)

Monterrey assistant coach Nico Sanchez has apologised for calling Inter Miami star Lionel Messi a “dwarf” and that the Argentine has “the face of the devil” in leaked audio. The Mexican Club beat Inter Miami last week 2-1 in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions Cup quarter-final – but Messi did not feature.

Tensions boiled over in Miami as the MLS team received six yellow cards and a red card during the match, which led to a confrontation with match officials after, with Messi, Jordi Alba, Luis Suarez and Inter Miami head coach Tata Martino all involved. Monterrey assistant coach Sanchez detailed the affair in the changing room in leaked audio, saying: “The dwarf was possessed, he had the face of the devil.

“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.”

Sanchez has now issued an apology on social media with the two teams set to meet on Wednesday at the Estadio BBVA. “Since I do not know the Inter coach, Gerardo Martino, and I referred to him in a disrespectful manner, and I apologise,” Sanchez conceded. “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.”

Lionel Messi did not play in the first leg against Monterrey (Image: Getty)

Messi returned from injury at the weekend in the 2-2 MLS draw with the Colorado Rapids. The World Cup winner was brought on in the second half with Miami trailing the visitors.

Messi managed to draw his team level and they then took the lead three minutes later on the hour mark. But they were unable to hold on as Colorado equalised with two minutes left to play.

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Messi is expected to play the second leg against Monterrey this week (Image: Getty)

And Martino has already confirmed that Messi will start in Mexico mid-week. “Messi will start on the field at the BBVA Stadium,” Martino said. “The idea would be [to start], but we understand the demand of the upcoming match.

“With Leo, it is the usual thing that he provokes in our team, in the teammates, in the people. The most important thing is that he felt comfortable, good, loose. We knew it was a risk for him to play the first game with Monterrey.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1886054/Mexican-team-coach-apologise-insulting-Lionel-Messi