'Don't call him that!' – Lionel Messi told Argentina teammates to stop calling Alexis Mac Allister 'ginger' | The Sun

ALEXIS MAC ALLISTER has revealed Lionel Messi told their Argentina team-mates to stop poking fun at his red hair.

The £55million Liverpool signing was referred to as ginger by his La Albiceleste team-mates following his call-up to the squad in the summer of 2019.

Mac Allister – the son of former Boca Juniors star Carlos – took exception to the nickname, so much so that Messi demanded the team stop using it.

Last year, the ex-Brighton man told The Athletic: "I trained with him [Messi] when I was in the Argentinian squad twice, but I didn’t play with him.

"It was fantastic, the same as in the matches he trains. It’s something you cannot believe.

“I remember everyone called me ‘Colo’, which is ginger in Argentina.

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"I don’t like it much and he told the team-mates that.

"He said, ‘He doesn’t like to be called Colo, so don’t call him that!’"

Mac Allister, 24, was called up to the Argentina squad in August 2019 and made his debut against Chile the following month.

But he was more nervous about meeting seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi than debuting for his country.

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He said of his first meeting with the Inter Miami ace: "I was red, completely red.

"I didn’t want even to say hello. I was really nervous even to meet one of the best players in the world, but it was fantastic, of course.

"It’s something I’m not going to forget. It was magic when my dad played with [Diego] Maradona and I could train with Lionel Messi. We are very proud of it."

Mac Allister played an integral role in helping Argentina lift the World Cup in Qatar.

He was one of the key work engines that allowed Messi the freedom to win the tournament for the South Americans.

Mac Allister also contributed one goal and one assist, most notably setting up Angel Di Maria for Argentina's second goal in the final.

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