Canelo apologizes to Messi for ‘out of line’ comments

Canelo Álvarez has walked back a stern warning he issued to Argentina soccer legend Lionel Messi, whom he had accused of disrespecting Mexico following a match Saturday.

The Mexican boxer had taken exception after a video posted on social media following Argentina’s 2-0 victory over Mexico showed a green Mexican jersey by Messi’s feet. The video, taken during the postgame locker room celebration, showed that Messi brushed his feet against the jersey as he tried to remove his cleats.

‘These past few days, I let myself get carried away with the passion and love I feel for my country and made comments that were out of line and for which I want to apologize to Messi and the people of Argentina,’ Álvarez wrote in his tweet posted Wednesday afternoon. ‘Every day we learn something new and this time it was my turn.’

In a subsequent tweet, Álvarez offered his support to both teams in the final matches of their Group C schedule, which are taking place simultaneously Wednesday.

‘I wish both teams all the best in their matches today and we’ll keep supporting Mexico here until the end,’ he wrote.

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Mexico plays Saudi Arabia while Argentina plays Poland, both starting at 2 p.m. ET. 

Poland (four points) and Argentina (three points; ahead on goal differential) are atop the group with Saudi Arabia (three points) and Mexico (one point) at the bottom. The top two teams will advance to the next round. Mexico, despite facing long odds, is not eliminated from moving on to the knockout stage, though it will need significant help along the way.

On Saturday, after the video had posted online, Álvarez, 32, had taken to Twitter to accuse Messi of dishonoring Mexico.

‘Did you see Messi cleaning the floor with our shirt and flag????’ he wrote in one tweet, before adding in another: ‘He should pray to God that I don’t run into him!!’

A newspaper report from England on Sunday said Messi, 35, was close to signing with MLS side Inter Miami FC for next season, but no announcement has been made. Messi currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain in the French Ligue 1.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY