Boxing great Canelo sparked a high-profile dispute on social media earlier this week after taking angry exception to a video that showed Messi brushing a Mexican shirt on the floor with his foot while taking off his boot during Argentina’s dressing-room celebrations following a crucial 2-0 win in Group C on Saturday night.
“Did you guys see Messi cleaning the floor with our jersey and flag,” tweeted the reigning undisputed men’s super-middleweight world champion, Mexico’s biggest sporting star. “He better pray to God that I don’t find him.
“Just like I respect Argentina, he has to respect Mexico! I’m not talking about the country as a whole, just about the bulls*** that Messi did.”
However, Canelo received a wave of criticism for what many perceived to be a massive overreaction to a completely innocuous incident, with many footballers including former Argentina international Sergio Aguero and ex-Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas coming out in public support of Messi. Canelo furiously shot back at Aguero in a further fiery exchange.
However, he now appears to have realised the error of his ways and apologised to both Messi and all Argentines, explaining that he simply let his passion for his country get the better of him.
"These last few days I got carried away by the passion and love I feel for my country and made comments that were out of place for which I want to apologise to Messi and the people of Argentina,” Canelo tweeted before the exciting conclusion to Group C on Wednesday night.
“Every day we learn something new and this time it was my turn. I wish both teams every success in their matches today and here we will continue to support Mexico until the end.”