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Egyptians are hopping mad that soccer star Lionel Messi donated his shoes to charity

Egyptians are hopping mad that soccer star Lionel Messi donated his shoes to charity

The world’s top soccer player is facing a backlash in Egypt after donating his shoes to charity during an interview on Egyptian TV.

Lionel Messi, a 28-year-old Argentine forward, presented host Mona el-Sharkawy a pair of his soccer cleats during her "Yes I Am Famous" show last week on independent TV channel MBC MASR, with the understanding that they would be sold and the proceeds donated to charity.

But the usually sure-footed Messi had stumbled into a cultural minefield. The gesture was seen as an insult by many Egyptians, whose culture considers it humiliating to be offered anyone's shoes.

“In my humble opinion,...