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Lionel Messi probably thought he was doing a good thing when he offered a pair of his soccer cleats for a charity auction while appearing on the TV show ‘Yes, I am Famous.’ Little did the Barcelona star know what was headed his way…

Said Hasasin, an Egyptian MP and television presenter, started the backlash.

Said Hasasin offers to donate his shoes

“Whose shoes do you want to sell, Messi? How much do you think it will get? You don’t know that the nail of a baby Egyptian is worth more than your shoes? Keep your shoes to yourself.”

He went on to add that a Barca uniform would have been a better option to auction.

“Messi, we Egyptians are 90 million people, who have pride, we have shoes. We don’t eat off the money of other peoples’ shoes. I would have understood if he donated his Barcelona uniform to the Egyptians, it’s accepted. But just the shoes?”

Messi apparently did not understand that in some Arab countries the shoe is sometimes used as a symbol of disrespect or insult.  Some readers may recall this after Iraqi journalist Muntasir al-Zaydi threw his shoes at President George W Bush in protest at a press conference in Baghdad in 2008.

The reaction has not all been negative.  Former player Mido, who played for teams such as Ajax, AS Roma, and Tottenham along with a 51 cap career with the Egyptian national team, reminded people via his twitter account; ‘The most precious thing the writer owns is his pen … and the most precious thing the footballer owns is his shoes. I hope we stop the false accusations.’

Get your own pair of adidas Messi soccer cleats at World Soccer Shop.

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