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Mina breaks silence over Lionel Messi feud at Copa America

Yerry Mina has insisted he harbours no ill-feeling towards Lionel Messi despite the Argentine star appearing to taunt him during Colombia’s Copa America semi-final defeat.

Following a 1-1 draw after extra-time, Argentina eventually triumphed over Colmbia via penalties with Mina missing a crucial spot-kick having had the chance to move them level on 1-1 during the shoot-out.

Yerry Mina and Lionel Messi clash during the Copa America semi-final earlier on in July

Messi’s jubilation was clear for all to see after Mina missed, as he appeared to repeatedly shout ‘dance now’ in the defender’s direction as he and his team-mates celebrated Emiliano Martinez’s save.

It is believed that Messi was referring to Mina’s celebration after scoring in Colombia’s penalty shoot-out win over Uruguay in the quarter-final. Mina sucked his thumb after scoring his spot-kick, despite it not being the winning penalty.

Despite the taunting from Messi, Everton defender Mina admitted he will always hold respect for his former Barcelona team-mate.

‘What happened with Leo is something that can happen at any moment, this is football,’ Mina said during a charity event in his hometown of Guachene.

Mina said he will 'always respect' Messi despite their feud during the Copa America semi-final

‘Life goes round in circles, it always gives you a second chance, but I am calm because I know that Leo is a great person.’

Mina spent six months at Barcelona, alongside Messi, in 2018. He joined from Brazillian side Palmeiras before moving to Goodison Park that August after struggling to make an impact.

Mina added: ‘I met him at Barcelona and I thank him for the support that he gave me, I will always respect him.

Messi finally got his hands on his first international honour after winning Copa America

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‘I admire Messi for what he is, at that time we were both defending our National Team.

‘If I could give my life for my national team, I would give it, but what happened was left [out on the pitch], there’s nothing to it.’

After edging past Colombia, Argentina saw off Brazil at the Maracana in the final to seal Copa America glory – which represented Messi’s long-awaited first international title with his country.

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