Jerome Rothen, a commentator for RMC Sport and former Paris Saint-Germain player, has voiced his criticisms of Lionel Messi and the Argentine national team for their behavior during the recent FIFA break in November.
Rothen delved into a heated altercation between Messi, Rodrigo De Paul, and Rodrygo during the match between Argentina and Brazil. The pundit, referencing Messi's two seasons with PSG, questioned the attitude of the Argentine star and his extended break with the French club in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Commenting on Messi, (h/t Le10Sport) Rothen remarked, "Starting with the star of this team, Leo Messi, now that he is a world champion and rested for two years at PSG for the World Cup... He had an image of an endearing boy, but now he has gone in another direction, and his true personality is emerging." He also expressed surprise at Messi's behavior and some Argentine players, expressing concern about generalizing their conduct.
The former player also highlighted a clash between Messi and PSG's new signing, Manuel Ugarte, during the Uruguay-Argentina match. Messi reprimanded the midfielder for his behavior towards De Paul, leading to Ugarte making an inappropriate gesture. Messi advised the younger players to follow the example of the more experienced ones, singling out Luis Suarez.