Lionel Messi’s early departure from Russia wasn’t spontaneous and was actually approved by both the Argentine coaching staff and by the World Cup organizing committee, the Russian Federal News Agency (FAN) reports.
According to the FAN, Messi and his teammate Javier Mascherano left for the airport early on Sunday, while the rest of the team was scheduled to depart in the evening, because the duo was travelling to Europe instead of South America like the rest of the team.
Messi’s departure saddened many social media users. Some lamented about Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Russia after losing to Uruguay.
The reality is, it is very sad to see ace players like #Messi, #Ronaldo and other legendary players leave #WorldCup so early in the first stage/ knockout round. Hope we will get to see them in the next World Cup.— Binay Rai®🇳🇵 (@BinSanto33) 1 июля 2018 г.
Ronaldo linking up with Messi at the airport right now sad to see these legends leave so early— Diego (@Diegodeleon5445) 30 июня 2018 г.
Messi and Ronaldo had so much more to show us this World Cup, sucks that they have to leave so early. I’m sick.— jose 🇧🇷 (@hjosexyz) 30 июня 2018 г.
These little burst of magic from Messi and there’s no one on his level in this team to match it and help him out. Shame to see such a great player leave this early because of a lack of class around him— Jessica Barrie (@JessieBarrie) 30 июня 2018 г.
It turns out that for some, Messi’s departure was a cause for celebration.