Brazil’s Rodrygo alleges racist insults after on-field quarrel with Messi

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Brazilian footballer Rodrygo Goes, a forward for Real Madrid, has recently spoken out about receiving racist insults on social media. This wave of abuse followed an on-field altercation with Argentine superstar Lionel Messi during a World Cup qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium.

The incident that sparked this backlash occurred in Rodrygo’s latest social media post dated November 11, where he criticized Argentine players for leaving the field after a skirmish between fans in the stadium. This post attracted numerous comments with racist undertones, including monkey and banana emoticons.

Rodrygo, taking to Instagram, expressed his dismay and condemned these racist remarks. He highlighted the persistent issue of racism, noting that any deviation from expected behavior or occupying spaces deemed off-limits often provokes such racist attacks.

The match, part of the sixth round of South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, started almost half an hour late due to a brawl between fans of both teams, requiring police intervention. The Argentine team temporarily retreated to their locker room and only returned to the field 17 minutes later, once the situation was under control.

During the game, a confrontation occurred between Rodrygo and Messi. Reports from the Argentine radio station TyC Sports claimed that Rodrygo called the Argentine players “cowards,” leading to a heated exchange where Messi reportedly reminded Rodrygo of Argentina’s status as “world champions” and told him to “shut his mouth.”

The match concluded with Argentina securing a 0-1 victory, marking Brazil’s first-ever home defeat in a World Cup qualifier. The incident and subsequent online racial abuse have cast a shadow over the sporting event, bringing to light the continuing issue of racism in football.