Barca won the Club World Cup final with a 3-0 victory over Argentinian outfit River on Sunday. Jonny Boyle of Talking Baws cited a report from Spanish newspaper Marca explaining Messi was spat on at passport control.
Messi scored in the final and, as Boyle reported, put his hand up as a gesture of good will to the River Plate fans from his native Argentina.
However, some opposing supporters didn't take kindly to the former Newell's Old Boys prospect, prompting Barcelona fan Sergi Dominguez to chastise the spitting culprit:
It's alleged Messi also received insults and that Javier Mascherano was among those to step in to support his team-mate.
This latest development arose a week after Messi put his critics in their place during an interview with TyC Sports (h/t Goal's Daniel Edwards), in which he hit back at those who lambaste his displays for the Argentina the national team:
I get annoyed when they tell us put in more effort, you don't feel the shirt. We were lucky enough to get to the final of the World Cup and the Copa America and it seems like we didn't do anything. We got to two finals, for f--k's sake.
We didn't win, what can you do, but we got to the final, we didn't lose in the last-16.
Football is not just about effort. We had bad times in the national team for what we experienced. We lost the final of the World Cup against Germany who have great players and we had great chances to win it. With Chile it was the same and we lost on penalties. ...
I get annoyed by the people who attack you without thinking. I won't sing the national anthem on purpose. I don't need to sing it to feel it. It reaches me, every person feels it in their own way. The Pumas cry, they feel it differently and that's ok.
River Plate followers may not have taken kindly to the Albiceleste star helping the Blaugrana ease past them in Yokohama, but it's possible Messi's comments regarding his critics could be the motive for the airport incident.
Nevertheless, the 28-year-old returned to Catalonia from Japan a world champion, helping Luis Enrique's side add another trophy to its collection before bringing a close to what's been a triumphant 2015.