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Messi called 'possessed dwarf' by Monterrey assistant


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Monterrey assistant coach Nico Sanchez has apologized after an audio recording in which he refers to Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi as a possessed "dwarf" was made public.

Sanchez didn't mention Messi by name in his video apology but conveyed his regret after calling Miami coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino a "dummy." His apology comes after a verbal spat involving the Argentine manager and Messi following Monterrey's CONCACAF Champions Cup win last week.

"Since I do not know the Inter coach, Gerardo Martino, and I referred to him in a disrespectful manner, and I apologize," Sanchez said, according to The Guardian. "I am as Argentine as all of them, and I will always defend my club. I'm here to show my face and take charge."

Messi, who didn't play in the game due to a hamstring injury, was reportedly involved in a confrontation outside Monterrey's locker room after Miami fell 2-1 in the first leg of their quarterfinal meeting. USA Today reports that he was joined by Jordi Alba, Luis Suarez, and Martino, who were all trying to confront the match officials.

"The dwarf was possessed, he had the face of the devil," Sanchez said about the incident in the audio leak obtained by Fox Sports MX. "He put his fist next to my face and says: 'Who do you think you are?' But because I didn’t look at him, I was looking away, I never answered back, it made things worse.

"And Tata Martino, what a poor dummy, I had him in front of me telling me: 'Fool, you going to cry? Fool, you going to cry?' What a dummy! All those videos, they probably erased them all because it leaves them looking bad. What they did was really serious. They want to dirty the pitch."

Initial reports indicated that Messi - who returned from injury Saturday and scored in Miami's 2-2 draw with Colorado - was upset over comments made by Monterrey coach Fernando Ortiz, who suggested that the 36-year-old and Miami were beneficiaries of preferential treatment from referees.

Miami and Monterrey will meet again in the second leg in Mexico on April 10.

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