LIONEL MESSI was slammed by footy fans after they learned of his ambassadorial deal with Saudi Arabia.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner came up against the Saudis in Argentina’s World Cup opener on Tuesday morning.
Lionel Messi was booed by Saudi fans over his deal with The Kingdom ahead of their World Cup clashREX
Messi hit back by opening the scoring in the tenth minuteREX
But he was left embarrassed as the pre-tournament favourites suffered a shock lossREX
But he was booed by fans before he even kicked a ball over his lucrative deal with The Kingdom.
And the Saudis in attendance at the Lusail Iconic Stadium made their feelings known as the all-time great took to the pitch for their Group C clash.
A requirement for Messi’s deal with Saudi requires him to promote the country.
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Footy fans were quick to comment on the controversial deal with Saudi, which has a long history of human rights abuses.
One tweeted: “Appears Leo Messi wins either way from today’s match.”
Another said: “Messi has a lucrative deal to promote Saudi Arabia and now he’s playing against them today, no greater promo than this.”
Messi and his Argentina team-mates ended up being beaten by a dogged and determined Saudi side – who produced one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.
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La Albiceleste suffered a 2-1 defeat to the minnows – who were a whopping 500/1 to win the tournament before the match.
A stunning second-half strike from Salem Aldawsari condemned Messi and Co to an embarrassing defeat and put a world of pressure on their shoulders going into their clash with Mexico on Saturday.
And fans couldn’t help but point out the irony that Messi – who opened the scoring – came out on the losing side against the country he’s paid to promote.
One tweeted: “Looks like Messi is taking his new promotional deal with Saudi Arabia a bit too seriously.”
Another said: “Argentina losing to Saudi Arabia makes me want to double back Messi’s deal with them to promote tourism in Saudi Arabia.”
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And another said: “Wasn’t Messi made the face of Saudi tourism for a fortune? And this result follows.”
One chimed in: “Messi has this deal then Argentina loses in quite possibly the biggest upset in World Cup history!”