Lionel Messi’s Copa America campaign finished just over 45 minutes early
on Saturday after the Argentina captain was sent off along with Chile’s
Gary Medel in the third-place play-off.

Messi and Argentina came
flying out of the blocks in Arena Corinthians, after tasting
elimination in controversial circumstances at the hands of Brazil on
Tuesday.

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After just 12 minutes the Albiceleste went ahead, Sergio
Aguero converting past Gabriel Arias in the Chile net after latching on
to a brilliant quickly taken free-kick from the Barcelona wizard.

But both teams were soon to be reduced to 10 men as tensions in Sao Paulo boiled over.

A
seemingly innocuous scuffle between Messi and notoriously bad-tempered
Chile hardman ‘Pitbull’ Medel quickly escalated into a full-on brawl
towards the end of the first half.

And while Leo certainly helped
provoke his opponent by pushing and harrying him past his own
goal-line, the Argentina captain was largely motionless when Medel came
back throwing his shoulders and forehead repeatedly into his adversary’s
person.

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