Argentina's Rodriguez: I'm not anti-Messi for Ronaldo tattoo

Recapping Italy's 'feisty' late win vs. Argentina (0:56)

Sophie Lawson reacts to Italy's 1-0 win over Argentina thanks to Cristiana Girelli's late winner. (0:56)

Argentina international Yamila Rodriguez has pleaded for the hate messages she is receiving on social media to stop after being vilified for having a Cristiano Ronaldo tattoo.

Rodriguez, 25, has been criticised by her compatriots for being anti-Lionel Messi for having a tattoo of Ronaldo on her left shin.

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The Palmeiras forward, who came off the bench in Argentina's 1-0 defeat to Italy in her team's FIFA Women's World Cup opener on Monday, posted on Instagram a picture of Ronaldo having his arm around Argentina captain Messi with the message: "Please enough, I'm not having a good time.

"At what point did I say I'm 'Anti Messi'? Stop saying things that I didn't say because the truth is that I'm having a bad time (in the middle of a World Cup while representing my country). I'm not having a bad time because of you [the fans] but for the atrocities that are said, without mercy. Can't you have an idol or a player you like?"

Rodriguez, who has a tattoo of Argentina legend Diego Maradona on her left thigh, added: "I never said that I am 'Anti Messi,' I never would be. Messi is our great captain of the National Team, but the fact that I say that my idol and my inspiration is CR7 does not mean that I hate Messi... I like another player more, the one who inspired me. What is the problem?

"We are not all obliged to only love the players of our country. Please understand that this is football and everyone has their own appreciation, their preferences, and highlighting one does not mean burying the other. Enough, it tires me, it hurts me."

Rodriguez is playing in her first World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Ronaldo and Messi are considered two of the best players of all time having won 12 Ballons d'Or between them.

Their rivalry grew during the nine years in which they faced off against each other in Spain -- when Messi was starring for Barcelona and Ronaldo for Real Madrid.

Messi, who joined Inter Miami CF earlier this month as a free agent, captained Argentina to their first World Cup title since 1982 at last year's tournament in Qatar.