Barcelona's Argentinian goalscoring machine, Lionel Messi shrugged off a question from a British journalist regarding Barca's chances of beating Arsenal in the Champions League quarter final tie first leg at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.
Whilst it may be true that the little maestro speaks very little English, it cannot be argued that he didn't understand the Arsenal component of the question, yet he could only shrug his shoulders and smile as if he didn't understand what he was being asked.
Neutral observers, especially those from Madrid, interpreted the shrug as an underhanded Argentinian snub for one of England's finest football teams, a calculated gesture of innate contempt designed to wind up Arsenal and their fans.
"Messi was a disgrace out there today," raged Reg Twaddle of the 'Daily Liar'. "I asked him a perfectly reasonable question about the upcoming Arsenal game and he mugged me off. He can't use the excuse that his English is poor because I asked the question in a loud slow voice - in other words, a way that even the dimmest foreigner couldn't possibly fail to understand. And he mugged me off."
A sports journalist from Spanish paper 'El Pais' remarked that he didn't expect anything else from a Barcelona player. He insisted that the Catalan giants were getting too big for their boots, not only in football terms but also in their support of increased autonomy for Catalunya. Denying that his comments were made in light of age old enmity between Catalunya and Castille, the 'El Pais' reporter told us that he hoped Arsenal would give the Catalans a 'damned good thrashing'.
It is our understanding that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for once actually did see the incident, but refused to comment on it because he wasn't wearing his glasses at the time.
More as we get it.