Saudi newspapers on Wednesday published a picture showing as if Argentine football star Lionel Messi was arrested just as he arrived with other national team members in Riyadh airport for a friendly match with Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Messi’s arrival on Monday triggered pandemonium at the airport as hundreds of fans, police men, journalists and airport passengers surrounded him.
Messi, who plays for Spain’s Barcelona club, was later taken to a hotel along with the other Argentine team players under heavy security.
The picture showed as if a Saudi police man was aiming his gun at Messi’s neck as the footballer looked as if he was caught off guard by the act. The picture also showed Messi was surrounded by many Saudi red-beret security men.
“This picture has triggered controversy on social networks…some were worried but others who knew the picture was not really what it looked made sarcastic comments, including that Messi was arrested on arrival in Saudi Arabia to affect his team’s morale and allow the Saudi team to win the match,” Sharq daily said.