Peru national team apologise after Lionel Messi is goaded with chants of 'Cristiano, Cristiano' and Argentina team bus is attacked and pelted with rocks


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The Independent Football

A bus carrying Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates was pelted with rocks in Peru last night.

Peruvian fans attacked the team coach as the players left training at Lima's Estadio Nacional, on the eve of the 2014 World Cup qualifier between the two countries.

According to Argentine sports daily Olé, no players or coaching staff were hurt in the incident in which some windows on the bus were broken.

"They threw bricks at us," said Juan Carlos Crespi, an Argentine Football Association official and the Boca Juniors director who attempted to lure Carlos Tevez back to the club last year.

The Peruvian national football team have since apologised for the violence.

"As hosts, we offer our most sincere apologies to each and every one of the members of the Argentine delegation," they wrote on Twitter.

Reports that Peru are planning to use a tight man-marking system to combat Messi have led to tensions between the two sides and Peruvian daily El Comercio has reported that security has been stepped up at the Argentine team hotel.

Argentina's captain was earlier goaded by a group of Peruvian fans, as he arrived at the hotel in Lima's San Isidro district, with shouts of "Cristiano, Cristiano".

Qualification group leaders Argentina will start tonight's game as strong favourites after their 3-1 win over Paraguay on Friday and Peru will face a real test against an all the more fired-up opposition.