Paraguay forward bites back at Lionel Messi over spitting claims – “I would never do anything like that”

Argentina won their third 2026 World Cup qualifying match in a row on Friday as they edged out Paraguay 1-0. However, the big story from the encounter centred around an alleged incident involving Lionel Messi and Antonio Sanabria.

Videos circulating on social media appear to show Sanabria, formerly of Barcelona and Real Betis, spit towards Messi during the closing stages of the match in Buenos Aires. Messi later aimed a thinly-veiled dig at his opponent, but refused to comment further.

Sanabria has now moved to deny these claims, taking to his Instagram account to fire back at those accusing him, also revealing that he and his family have been threatened over the alleged incident.

“I am forced to come out and deny what happened last night, for the simple fact of seeing my family affected and for receiving multiple threats for an event that never happened.

“I would never do anything like that to a colleague or anyone out of respect. What example would I be setting for my daughters by committing such an act? I recommend you to see all the images.”

CONMEBOL have yet to address the issue, which could see Sanabria handed a suspension if he is found to have spat at Barcelona legend Messi.

Tags Antonio Sanabria Argentina Lionel Messi Paraguay
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