When most people think of Lionel Messi, they picture him weaving his way past multiple defenders effortlessly, and conjuring up the kind of goals that other mere mortals can only dream of. He does it all with an unassuming smile on his face, and exudes a natural humility that has endeared him to millions of fans around the world.
Messi is a footballing god who will probably be remembered as the greatest player of all time when he eventually hangs up his boots. But it's impossible to get to that level without being a ferocious competitor. The Argentine magician will do whatever it takes to win, even if that means embracing his dark side. He is a hero to so many, but he's never been afraid to turn villain in the midst of battle.
That mean streak has mostly come out on the international stage, when Messi carries the weight of an entire nation's expectations on his shoulders as Argentina's captain and undisputed talisman. He doesn't have the most intimidating frame or facial features, but he never backs down from a fight.
Emiliano Martinez called Messi a "bad boy" after Argentina's run to glory at the 2022 World Cup, which is a fitting label. The Inter Miami superstar is certainly not always the angelic figure the media perceives him as, and GOAL is here to run down his most shocking outbursts in the famous blue and white of the Albiceleste...