Messi's Argentina team-mates race over to protect him after Honduras player knocks him over to spark mass scuffle

Messi Argentina Honduras 2022Getty Images
  • Argentina players furious with rough Messi treatment
  • De Paul leads protests and claims elbow used
  • Messi has last laugh with two goals in 3-0 win

WHAT HAPPENED? Rodrigo De Paul - who suspected an elbow had been thrown - led the protestations as he raced over to the referee, with both sets of players being involved in a heated confrontation as Messi lay sprawled out on the floor.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Don't touch the GOAT! Argentina's players clearly feel a duty to protect their legendary captain and were not having it after he was bundled to the ground. There appears to be a real togetherness in Lionel Scaloni's camp and they will surely be one of the favourites to win the World Cup.

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? That particular challenge didn't prove too damaging to Messi, who ultimately had the last laugh and scored twice in a 3-0 Argentina win in Florida. He'll be back in action on September 27, when Scaloni's men face Jamaica in another friendly clash.