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‘Never happened’ – Antonio Sanabria hits back in Lionel Messi spitting controversy after receiving ‘multiple threats’

WHAT HAPPENED? The 27-year-old striker, who plies his trade with Torino in Serie A, took to Instagram to issue a statement addressing the Lionel Messi spit controversy that occurred during the 2026 World Cup qualifying game between Paraguay and Argentina.

Sanabria was accused of spitting in Messi’s direction during the match which the striker categorically denies. He even suggested that he and his family have received “multiple threats” since the controversial incident.

WHAT THEY SAID: The player wrote on his Instagram Stories: “I feel obliged to go out and deny what happened last night. For the simple fact of seeing my family affected and due to multiple threats for an event that never happened. I would never do anything similar to any colleague or any person out of respect. What example would I be giving to my daughters by committing an act like that? I recommend that you see all the images.”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: After the match, Messi was asked about the spit saga to which the star player told TyC Sports, “My team-mates told me about it in the locker room. It is better to leave the issue alone. I don’t know who this guy is and I don’t want to give him importance either, because if he gets that he’s going to go out and talk everywhere and he becomes known.”

WHAT NEXT? Messi and Argentina will be next seen in action in the World Cup qualifiers when they take on Peru on October 18.