FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was spotted leaving his seat early during Spain's 6-1 drubbing of Argentina in Madrid on Tuesday night, and has since received some heavy criticism for doing so.
Click through the gallery above to see images of Messi's reaction on Tuesday night.
According to the Daily Mail, the 30-year-old had seen enough of his side being thrashed at the Wanda Metropolitano – home of Atletico Madrid – and decided to leave his box seat with 13 minutes to go.
It was reportedly Real Madrid playmaker Isco's hat-trick goal in the international friendly that prompted the reaction from Messi, who sat with West Ham United star Manuel Lanzini in an executive box at the stadium.
The Barca talisman has since drawn major criticism for leaving his seat before the end of the game from Argentinian and Spanish press, but La Furia Roja striker Diego Costa, who opened the scoring on the night for La Furia Roja, leapt to the defence of his LaLiga colleague.
"In Argentina, they love to criticise Messi a lot," he told Fox Sports Argentina.
"Today, they have seen what they are without Messi. Argentina have to take care of Leo; they have to be grateful.
"If Messi wasn’t there for them, how would they get by?"
Messi missed both of Argentina's international games due to a hamstring strain he has been carrying in recent months.
Some fans, however, have speculated that manager Jorge Sampaoli simply wanted to give his captain a rest as he has missed only a handful of games for Barca this season.
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