Argentina captain Lionel Messi was at the centre of some rough tackles during their game with Colombia last Friday, and when he confronted the referee about it all, his complaints were shrugged off.

According to the Barcelona superstar, the referee wasn’t prepared to give him any sort of protection, but instead reminded him how the game is played in South America.

Messi admitted that he approached the official to talk about a few of the challenges he received during the game, but it fell on deaf ears.

"I asked him about a couple of incidents and he said 'This is South America and this is how the game is played here',” Messi told Marca.

“I guess they (referees) call the shots on the pitch and they choose what to allow.”

The Argentine saw his side progress to the Copa America semi-finals, as they saw off Colombia in a closely contested penalty shootout.

Messi has played in all four of Argentina’s Copa America games and has only managed to score one goal in the competition so far.

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