Lionel Messi was the star of the show as Argentina beat Honduras 3-0 in a friendly in Miami.
Messi played a role in all three goals – including scoring twice.
His gorgeous pass to Giovani Lo Celso led to a penalty, which the Paris Saint-Germain star calmly slotted home.
Then, in the second half, his outrageous chip made it 3-0.
What a performance from Messi.
The Honduran players certainly didn’t take it easy on the Paris Saint-Germain star, though.
Messi was on the receiving end of a harsh shoulder to the face from Deiby Flores – something that left his Argentine teammates fuming.
The confrontation was led by Atletico Madrid’s Rodrigo De Paul, who has formed a strong relationship with Messi in recent months.
And that relationship was seen once again at full time.
After the match, many Honduras players and staff lined up to get pictures with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. But De Paul had Messi’s best interests in his mind.
As one Honduras staff member grabbed Messi’s arm in the hope of a picture, De Paul reacted by releasing Messi’s arm from his grip.
VIDEO: De Paul protects Messi from Honduras staff and players
The way De Paul defends Messi 😂 I love this guy so much pic.twitter.com/PHzh32L9zO
— R (@Lionel30i) September 24, 2022
Honduras players and staff lining up to take pictures with Messi after the final whistle pic.twitter.com/OTsPZLOMHT
— FCB One Touch (@FCB_OneTouch) September 24, 2022
If that doesn’t sum up De Paul’s true feelings for Messi, then his recent comments certainly do.
He was asked about being captained by Messi for his country, to which he admitted that he would go to war for the former Barcelona man.
“You look up to him obviously, but when you start sharing things with him, he is so transparent that instead of telling him what you think of him, you feel more like asking him about his little kids or of reminding him of the time he took you out with his studs up in a Valencia-Barcelona game,” De Paul told FIFA.com.
“When he becomes your captain, you’d go to war for him if he asked you to.
“The key thing is that everyone knows what they’re expected to do, nobody is trying to hog the headlines. The only untouchable one is Leo. The rest of us contribute by doing whatever is asked of us.”
We all need a De Paul in our lives.