Photo: Argentine Team's Bus Pelted With Rocks in Peru, Fans Chant "Cristiano!" at Messi
Luckily no players or members of the coaching staff were injured when people in Peru began throwing rocks at a bus carrying Argentina’s soccer team, including phenom Lionel Messi.
Peruvian fans are also said to have chanted, “Cristiano, Cristiano” and “Ronaldo, Ronaldo” at Messi as he arrived at the team’s hotel in Lima’s San Isidro district.
Argentine Football Association official, Juan Carlos Crespi told Argentina’s Olé, “They threw bricks at us.”
The team’s coach was also attacked by Peruvian soccer fans as the players left their training facility in Lima ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualifier against Peru.
Though no one on the bus was injured, windows were broken.
The Peruvian national football team has apologized for the incident, tweeting, “As hosts, we offer our most sincere apologies to each and every one of the members of the Argentine delegation.”
Peru and Argentina have had a strained relationship since the 1990s and the Cenepa War.
Soccer fans in Peru have clearly sided with one of Messi’s top on-field rivals, Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently expressed he has been “sad’ without stating why. Perhaps the Peruvian fan’s attack on the Argentine bus to, however oddly, show support for the melancholy star.
Argentina currently sits atop the South America World Cup qualifying group.