Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Messi 'fool' taunt spawns T-shirts and mugs in Argentina

Messi 'fool' taunt spawns T-shirts and mugs in Argentina

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man holds a T-shirt with an image of Argentina forward Lionel Messi and a phrase reading 'What are you looking at, fool?' at a store in Buenos Aires on December 12. AFP

Messi 'fool' taunt spawns T-shirts and mugs in Argentina

"What are you looking at, fool? Get lost!" Lionel Messi's World Cup taunt of Dutch player Wout Weghorst has delighted Argentina, where the phrase has made its way onto mugs, T-shirts and other products.

In a viral video online, soccer superstar Messi is shown being interviewed after Friday's stormy quarter-final clash with the Netherlands, when his eyes drift off camera.

He then launches his words in the direction of the Dutch substitute – whose two late goals pushed the two teams into penalties – while the reporter struggles to get his attention.

Argentina emerged victorious, but Messi fumed after the fractious match at the referee who gave Weghorst a free kick.

The sport's world governing body FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against both teams after a World Cup record of 18 yellow cards and multiple mass confrontations during the game.

But in Argentina, a saltier Lionel Messi has drawn comparisons with Diego Maradona, a troubled genius known for fiery moments both on and off the field.

Businesses wasted no time plastering the slogan on a variety of products, with mugs selling for 1,600 pesos ($9), T-shirts for 2,900 pesos, and caps for 3,900 pesos.

"We made the T-shirts right away. The phrase went viral because in another stage, Messi had a calm, low profile. But people wanted him to have a bit of Diego [Maradona] spiciness," said clothing designer Tony Molfese, 31.

For many in Argentina, the language Messi used is far milder than what can be heard on the streets.

"I thought the phrase was great, so innocent and tender" compared to what you usually hear in Argentina's sporting world, said 67-year-old Graciela Squietino, who bought T-shirts for her three grandsons.


  • Tensions high ahead of historic Kun Khmer match up

    The long-awaited November 5 matchup between Kun Khmer legend Prum Samnang and Myanmar-Canadian boxer Dave Leduc has become the most anticipated fight of the year. The Wurkz Sena Kun Khmer promotion, which will be held at the Town Arena at Chip Mong 271 Megamall, will see six

  • Manet: Cambodia safe for travel

    Prime Minister Hun Manet acknowledged that Cambodia and China have cooperated to tackle internet scamming, fraud and other cross border crimes, but insisted that the “Kingdom of Wonders” is completely peaceful and safe. He welcomed tourists to come and explore its rich heritage. During a

  • UNESCO formally list Battambang gastronomy

    Battambang, renowned for its cultural heritage, has achieved a significant milestone as the first Cambodian municipality to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The UCCN unites nearly 300 cities prioritising creativity and cultural industries in local development plans and international cooperation. On World Cities Day,

  • Cambodia pivots to solar, wind energy

    Cambodia is planning a move towards solar and wind energy to meet its rising power demands, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rottanak. On the sidelines of the Singapore International Energy Week event held recently, Rottanak emphasised the urgency of diversifying Cambodia’s

  • Angkor causeway symbol of Cambodia-Japan ties

    In a historic moment marking another milestone in the 70-year-long diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Japan, King Norodom Sihamoni celebrated the formal inauguration of a causeway located to the west of the world-renowned Angkor Wat. While presiding over the November 4 ceremony, the King emphasised the

  • Manet calls for Cambodia’s railways to get back on track

    Prime Minister Hun Manet has instructed the relevant authorities to expedite studies into upgrades to the Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk railway line. He suggested that the maximum speed on the line should be increased to 80km/h, in order to expedite the transportation of