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Egypt’s best known archaeologist called Lionel Messi an idiot

Messi was in Egypt to promote medical tourism [AFP]

Date of publication: 9 March, 2017

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Egypt's Indiana Jones has suggested the world's most famous footballer, Lionel Messi who plays for Barcelona, is an emotionless drone

Egypt’s best known archaeologist apologized after he angrily called Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi “an idiot” because the striker seemed to show little interest during a tour of the Giza Pyramids.

Zahi Hawass, famed for his Indiana Jones hat and TV specials on Egypt’s ancient sites, showed Messi around the Giza Pyramids last month during a brief visit to Egypt by the Barcelona striker.

In a TV interview aired on Sunday, Hawass was asked how Messi’s reaction compared to that of Hollywood movie star Will Smith, who also toured the Pyramids with Hawass earlier this month.

“Messi is an idiot, and I am sorry to say that,” he snapped. “I was explaining the antiquities to him and there’s no reaction in his face. I was explaining things that would make a rock react, but he was just like an idiot.”

In a statement late Tuesday, Hawass said he was expressing anger over an inefficient interpreter when he was interviewed on the telephone by a talk show host. He made no mention of an interpreter in his original comments on Messi.
Messi is an idiot, and I am sorry to say that

“I apologise to Messi and his fans for the misunderstanding,” he said, professing to be an avid fan of the Argentine who watches all his games on television.

“The nature of brief telephone interviews does not allow enough time to accurately explain what is meant. That contributed to the misunderstanding,” he said.

Argentinean football legend Lionel Messi had been in Cairo in late February to promote Egypt as a medical tourism destination for hepatitis C patients.

"Medication against Hepatitis C saves lives, let's put an end to the waiting lists," Messi said on his official Facebook page.

Hawwas, a former antiquities minister, added that he would like to take Messi to visit the tomb of King Tutankhamun in the southern city of Luxor if he were to visit Egypt again.

Messi is not the first celebrity to seem to have annoyed Hawass, a colourful character himself.

Reports alleged in 2013 that he had similar things to say about American r&b star Beyonce, despite denials at the time.

“She’s a stupid person and she doesn’t understand a thing and she doesn’t want to understand," he allegedly said of her, also following an awkward tour of the pyramids.

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