Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Jeers as Lionel Messi sidesteps his Irish fans

Messi

When you're the world's number one footballer, it's easy to assume life can't be all that bad.

But Argentina's crown prince Lionel Messi may well be resenting one of his new-found responsibilities after dozens of disappointed Ireland fans booed him back to his hotel following the team's training session before last night’s friendly.

The Barcelona star, who earns £27m a year, is the best paid player in the world, but his fancy skills on the pitch aren't matched by his people skills.

Every Irish football fan who nipped up to feast their eyes on the Argentina stars at Carton House were eating out of the players' hands as if they were rock stars.

But as they strolled back to their hotel after their first full training session, the squad's biggest hero, Messi, was subject to some intense jeering after he failed to sign autographs. The striker was branded a diva after being whisked to and from the nearby pitch in a golf cart to avoid being mobbed by the waiting crowd.

But luckily there were plenty of other players ready to oblige as they lapped up the attention after their two-hour session.

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