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Edinson Cavani Says Fighting Talk with Lionel Messi Is 'Part of Football'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2019

Argentina's forward Lionel Messi talks to Uruguay's forward Edinson Cavani during the friendly football match between Argentina and Uruguay at the Bloomfield stadium in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on November 18, 2019. (Photo by Jack GUEZ / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
JACK GUEZ/Getty Images

Edinson Cavani has played down an angry confrontation between himself and Lionel Messi in Uruguay's 2-2 draw with Argentina on Monday.

Argentinian outlet Ole (h/t ESPN FC's Adriana Garcia) reported Cavani had told Messi to "fight it out" after the Barcelona man was brought down by Matias Vecino, to which Messi is said to have replied, "Whenever you want."

The pair are also reported to have continued arguing in the tunnel at half-time, but after the match Cavani told TyC Sports (h/t Garcia):

"It's part of football; Clasicos are like this.

"The truth is that it was at times a game that had friction. There were challenges and things that are part of football—especially of South American [football].

"We take positives from our performance and the fact that we were able to score two goals. We still need to improve, but it's good to end the year like this."

Football writer Simon Harrison suggested Messi's acceptance of Cavani's offer might not have been the wisest move:

Simon Harrison @simonhfootball

Messi offered to fight Cavani? Cavani, the man mountain who lives out in the sticks wearing camouflage and hunting whenever to goes back to Uruguay? Good luck on that one.

The Argentina captain had an eventful international break.

On Friday, he scored the only goal of the game as La Albiceleste beat rivals Brazil 1-0, and he had a heated exchange with Selecao boss Tite:

Goal @goal

🇧🇷 boss Tite: "Messi should have been shown a yellow card and he told me to shut my mouth and I told him to shut his mouth." 🤐 https://t.co/UKRCCw6IB6

On Monday, he provided a last-gasp equaliser for Argentina from the penalty spot after his earlier run-in with Cavani, who also scored:

B/R Football @brfootball

34' Cavani 63' Aguero 68' Suarez 92' Messi PEDIGREE 🔥 https://t.co/MYOin8uavs

Cavani's goal represented a significant milestone in his international career:

B/R Football @brfootball

Edinson Cavani now has 50 goals for Uruguay 🇺🇾🎯 https://t.co/1i1UnWFM5j

Only team-mate Luis Suarez—who is also close friends with Messi at Barcelona—has scored more for La Celeste with 59 goals.

Messi's strike was also a landmark, as it was his 70th for Argentina in 138 games. He's now 16 clear of Gabriel Batistuta, whose international career came to an end in 2002, while Sergio Aguero's goal was his 41st.

In terms of appearances, the 32-year-old needs five more to equal Javier Zanetti and nine more to pull level with Argentina record-holder Javier Mascherano on 147.

When international football resumes in March, Argentina and Uruguay will begin CONMEBOL qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with a draw on Dec. 3 set to determine when they'll face one another along the way.

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