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Thiago Silva: 'Lionel Messi should show more respect'

Silva: 'Messi should show more respect'
© Reuters
Brazil captain Thiago Silva accuses Lionel Messi of lacking respect during a friendly with Argentina in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Brazil captain Thiago Silva has accused Lionel Messi of lacking respect during a friendly with Argentina in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

The Barcelona forward returned to international action following a three-month ban to score the only goal in a fiery 1-0 win for Argentina.

Brazil boss Tite claimed soon after the game that Messi had told him to "shut up" while he was on the touchline.

Speaking to AS after the game, Silva said: "I argued with the ref and he kept laughing. You have to put admiration to one side. He always looks to force the referee to give them free-kicks in dangerous areas, he always acts in that way.

"We spoke with some players who play in Spain and the same thing happens, he looks to control the game and the referee's decisions. In the Champions League he doesn't have that advantage because the referees are tougher.

"You don't see him trying to rule so much. There are referees that, because of their admiration for him, start to weigh in on his side. That we didn't have Neymar on our side was a disadvantage.

"It's hard to understand when we talk about respect on the pitch, and one of the most admired players in the world does that, you don't do that to an older person but being that it was a coach. As much as there is rivalry, respect has to come first."

Messi had served a ban from international football after claiming that Brazil's Copa America triumph over the summer was "fixed".

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Argentina's Lionel Messi in action with Brazil's Alex Sandro on November 15, 2019
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