ALEXIS MAC ALLISTER has revealed Lionel Messi told their Argentina team-mates to stop poking fun at his red hair.
The Brighton midfielder was referred to as ginger by his La Albiceleste team-mates following his call-up to the squad in the summer of 2019.
Kevin Mac Allister made his Argentina debut in 2019
And the Brighton star’s international team-mates poked fun at his red hairCredit: AP
But skipper Lionel Messi quickly put an end to thatCredit: AFP
Mac Allister – the son of former Boca Juniors star Carlos – took exception to the nickname, so much so Messi demanded the team stop using it.
He told The Athletic: “I trained with him 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.
“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!’”
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Mac Allister, 23, was called up to the Argentina squad in August 2019 and made his debut against Chile the following month.
But the Seagulls star was more nervous about meeting seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi than debuting for his country.
He said of his first meeting with the PSG 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 Maradona and I could train with Lionel Messi.
“We are very proud of it.”
Alexis Mac Allister was in awe of Lionel Messi when he first met himCredit: Reuters
Mac Allister has yet to earn a recall to the Argentina squad and currently has two appearances for his nation to his name.
The midfielder has made 20 appearances for Brighton in all competitions this season, scoring four goals and providing four assists for Graham Potter’s side.
Mac Allister and his Brighton team-mates will be back in action a week on Saturday, travelling to north London to take on Tottenham.
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