Yokohama: Argentine football fans insulted and spat at their captain Lionel Messi as the talismanic Barcelona forward was returning home after winning the Club World Championship here beating his country's club River Plate 3-0.
The 28-year-old was travelling through Narita airport where he was insulted by River Plate supporters on Sunday.
Messi did not hold back either but he was held back by Argentina and Barcelona teammate Javier Mascherano -- a former River Plate star -- and head coach Luis Enrique, reported the Mirror on Monday.
River Plate officials strongly condemned the attack.
River president Luciano D'Onofrio said: "There is always someone stupid, Messi is a gentleman."
Messi has endured a bitter relationship with fans in his homeland who doubted his commitment and accused him of being unpatriotic as he had moved to Spain at a very young age.
Argentine media is said to be disgusted after the incident with ‘Ole’ a popular daily saying: "unfortunately the lack of respect knows no borders."