Newell's fan Messi was punched in the face on the streets of Rosario by a supporter of rival Central, as he enjoys the post-season break in his native Argentina.
According to Telam, the hero of the Champions League final was eating lunch in the Club de la Milanesa restaurant with two friends, when a group of schoolchildren gathered outside and requested a photograph with one of the region's most famous sons.
There, Messi stood with the youngsters when he was spotted by a fan of Central. "I'm a Central supporter, you're from Newell's", the unknown individual reportedly shouted, landing a punch on the 23-year-old before being separated by the crowd which had gathered to see the Argentina and Barca number 10.
Lionel meanwhile made no reaction to the assault, and quietly withdrew from the scene without making any comment. He had gone to the restaurant with no security personnel, and was accompanied only by friends.
'La Pulga' is well-known as a supporter of Newell's, and started his career with that club before being snapped up by Barcelona in his early teens. It is the second time in a week that he has been accosted; in the Champions League final against Manchester United on Saturday, he was caught by a fan who invaded the pitch and hung a scarf from his shoulders, before being helped by security.