Egypt's best known archaeologist called Messi an idiot

FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, file photo, FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, attends a gala dinner held at the Mena House in Giza, Egypt. Egypt’s best known archaeologist has apologized after he angrily called Argentine football superstar Lionel Messi “an idiot” because the striker seemed to show little interest during a tour of the Giza Pyramids. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

CAIRO — 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 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.

"I apologize 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.

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.

Must Read

Sri Lanka in charge in Bangladesh after day 1 of...

Feb 8, 2018

Sri Lanka has begun the second test against Bangladesh with the upper hand, finishing the first day...

Egypt has a new hero: Liverpool striker Mohammed...

Oct 9, 2017

Liverpool striker Mohammed Salah scored a pair of goals to send Egypt to the World Cup in Russia

Calls for exiled player to go to WCup stirs storm...

Oct 17, 2017

A social media campaign to persuade former star midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika to come out of...

Salah's success offers hope in Egypt to fans and...

Jan 4, 2018

Success of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah offers hope in Egypt to fans and authorities

El-Hadary on way to becoming oldest to play at a...

May 14, 2018

Essam el-Hadary is on his way to becoming the oldest person to play in a World Cup match

About Us

Get all the up-to-date breaking news about politics, business, entertainment, sports, lifestyles, weather, traffic, and local news in a seamless digital environment only in Morning Dispatcher.

Subscribe Now!

Quick Links

HomePress