He is regarded as the best football ever in the game due to his exploits for Barcelona but it seems Lionel Messi has not won over his countrymen.
Having just won the Club World Cup with his Barcelona teammates, the Argentina national team captain was spat on and insulted by fans from his country.
Messi and his teammates were returning from Japan where they just played and won the World Club Cup through Narita airport.
In the final of the competition, Barcelona beat River Plate, a club from Messi’s country, Argentina.
The fans were not happy with Barcelona’s victory and vented their frustration on Messi.
Un afiicionado argentino ha escupido a Messi en el aeropuerto!!! pic.twitter.com/o4cQp0kn3V
— Joan Vehils (@jvehils) December 21, 2015
Messi reacted badly but was held back by Javier Mascherano – a former River Plate star – and manager Luis Enrique.
Some River’s directors were nearby and condemned the behaviour of fans to Argentine media.
Messi has endured a tough relationship with fans in his homeland.
They have in number of occasions accused him of being unpatriotic and doubted his commitment to the cause after moving to Spain as a teenager.
Then, in the wake of defeats in the finals of the World Cup and Copa America, he was doubted again by followers of the national team and media critics alike, leading him to recently tell them to “piss off” in a television interview.