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Miami coach downplays reported Messi outburst

Megan Briggs / Getty Images Sport / Getty

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Inter Miami assistant coach Javier Morales downplayed reports that Lionel Messi was involved in a confrontation near Monterrey's locker room following Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal game.

"The most important thing happened on the field, which is a Cup match. We know what those matches represent, they are played with intensity," Morales said Friday during a news conference, according to ESPN's Lizzy Becherano. "But truthfully, the most important part happened on the field.

"We played against a great rival, and unfortunately, when we went down to 10 men, we couldn't maintain the result. Now we have to go to Monterrey and try to do it in the best way possible to advance."

Messi, who didn't play in the 2-1 first-leg loss, approached the Mexican club's changing room afterward and began to yell, a source told ESPN. However, the motive for his alleged outburst is unknown.

It's been speculated that Messi was upset by pregame comments from Monterrey head coach Fernando Ortiz.

"We know what it's like in the world of football," Ortiz said in response to a question about the alleged confrontation. "There are opinions of all kinds. Everyone is responsible for what they say."

The 36-year-old Messi has been out of action due to a hamstring injury since March 13.

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