Brazil star Rodrygo has been subjected to racist abuse on his social media accounts following a confrontation with Lionel Messi during a recent FIFA World Cup qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina.
In a statement, the Real Madrid attacker revealed that his social media platforms had been flooded with racist insults. He believes that he has been targeted because he stands up for what is right and refuses to compromise.
"Racists are always active. My social networks were invaded with insults and all kinds of nonsense," Rodrygo said. "If we don't do what they want, if we don't behave as they think we should, if we wear something that bothers them, if we don't lower our heads when we are attacked, if we occupy spaces that they think is theirs, racists take action with all this criminal behaviour."
During the match, Rodrygo engaged in a heated argument with Messi, calling the Argentina squad cowards. Messi responded by rubbing his Copa America triumph and World Cup win in Rodrygo's face and telling him to "watch his mouth."
The confrontation between the two teams began even before the match started, as Brazilian police attacked Argentina fans prior to kickoff. The Argentine players reacted by walking off the pitch, but eventually returned and won the game 1-0 at the Maracana stadium on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.
Despite the controversy surrounding the match, Rodrygo remains defiant, stating, "But it's their bad luck, we will not stop!" He believes that standing up against racism and discrimination is essential, and he will continue to fight for what is right.
The incident highlights the ongoing problem of racism in football, which has been a persistent issue in recent years. Players, coaches, and fans have all spoken out against racism, demanding stronger action from authorities and greater awareness among spectators.