Steve Nicol and Ale Moreno flame Brandon Vazquez for an autograph from Lionel Messi after his loss to Inter Miami
- Brandon Vazquez gave Cincinnati a 2-0 lead before losing to Inter Miami at the PKs.
- The USMNT striker then approached Messi after the semi-final defeat.
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Brandon Vazquez’s request for a signing after Cincinnati’s US Open Cup semi-final penalty shootout loss to Inter Miami angered ESPN FC panelists Steve Nicol and Alejandro Moreno.
The USMNT forward put FC Cincinnati ahead 2-0 in the 53rd minute of Wednesday’s thriller before Messi’s side forced extra time and eventually won on penalties.
After the match, Vazquez approached Messi with a pen and asked if he would sign his shirt. The Argentine accepted and thus sparked a topical debate both online and in ESPN FC’s studios.
“I’m just disgusted by the whole thing, to be honest with you,” Nicol said Thursday. “I have nothing allowed on television.
“I’m absolutely disgusted that anyone would lose a cup semi-final…and I have the nerve to think it’s okay to go and get someone from the opposition an autograph.
Former professionals Steve Nicol (left) and Ale Moreno (right) blasted the actions of Brandon Vazquez
The USMNT striker approached Messi with a marker, asking for an autograph after the defeat.
“If I was the coach, I’d kick every one of them, only my size 12, when they came back into the locker room. Every one of them embarrassed themselves and us by doing You can call it old school, you can call it what you want, but it’s disgusting.
“It’s an absolute joke – and if I’m a fan and see the players I came to see win a game, behaving like funny boys after the game when they’ve just lost a semi-final of cut. I would. I prefer to say other words, but I’m not allowed to.
Nicol’s colleague and former MLS player Alejandro Moreno wasn’t much nicer, suggesting – among other things – that Messi should be seen as a rival rather than a hero.
“I don’t care if it’s Lionel Messi, I don’t care if it’s Maradona, I don’t care if it’s Pele, I don’t care,” Moreno said. “He is an opponent who prevents you from achieving your goals as an individual and as a team.
“And yet, and yet, where is the pride of competition? Where is the respect for your organization, your club, your teammate, yourself?
“Where is the self-respect and the sense of pride in knowing that you have just lost an opportunity to win a title for your club? Now people will say, “Well, that’s after the game. So why is it important?
“It’s important… because if you have a marker in your hand, you thought about it before the match. If indeed you are ready to queue a few minutes after losing, it’s because you thought about it. before the match.
“So you can’t tell me that you give the best of yourself that is available to you. In order to beat Inter Miami against Lionel Messi. If you’re afraid to get an autograph from the guy.
Some on Elon Musk’s social media sided with Vazquez’s decision.
“You can’t beat this man if you keep treating him like a God, a deity, an untouchable. He’s good enough. Trust me. He doesn’t need your help.
Despite fiery opinions from former pros, some on social media believed Messi’s greatness overshadowed any talk of a lack of competitiveness.
“Anyone who really loves football would do this if given the chance,” one user wrote.
“He might have this signed for a family member or close friend,” another speculated.
One thing is for sure, it’s not the last time this happens after an undesirable result against Messi and Miami.