Venezuela Coach Beats Messi, Immediately Offers Resignation

Rafael Dudamel said he felt denigrated for being used politically despite having just made Messi look human.

Venezuela national team coach Rafael Dudamel pulled off an impressive 3-1 win over Argentina on Saturday in Madrid. 

After the match, he said he was offering his resignation as Venezuela national team coach.

Dudamel said he felt he was used politically after meeting with Antonio Ecarri, the pick of Juan Guaidó to be ambassador to Spain. Guaidó is the head of the National Assembly who is opposing Nicolas Maduro’s presidency in Venezuela, with some countries recognizing Guaidó as the acting president of the country. Maduro's re-election in 2018 was deemed illegitimate by some foreign governments. 

The meeting between the Venezuela national team coach and players and Ecarri was supposed to be private, Dudamel said, but Guaidó posted the meeting to social media.

After the meeting, Venezuela went out and beat Argentina 3-1 in a friendly at the Wanda Metropolitano, La Vinotinto’s first win over La Albiceleste since 2011. 

The match was the first time Lionel Messi played for Argentina since the 2018 World Cup, but it wasn’t a happy return for La Pulga

Newcastle United’s Salomón Rondón put Venezuela in front in the sixth minute.

Jhon Murillo then made it 2-0 just before halftime.

Messi did spark the attack that led to Argentina’s lone goal in the 59th minute.

But Major League Soccer star Josef Martinez put the match away with one of his trademark hop penalty shots in the 75th minute.

Despite the win, after the match Venezuela national team coach Dudamel said after the match he was offering his resignation after being used politically.

“Today was denigrating; it’s unfortunate how they have acted,” Dudamel said

Dudamel did say he would stay on for a friendly against Catalunya, a national team not sanctioned by FIFA or UEFA, on Monday in Girona. He'll then speak with federation officials to discuss his future. 

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