A popular Archaeologist has been under fire for insulting Messi in an interview after the Barcelona star's Egypt visit last month
Messi made a brief visit to Egypt last month and was shown around the Giza pyramids by Hawas, who was reportedly frustrated by the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's seeming disinterest during the tour.
In a television interview via telephone with a talk show host that aired on Sunday, Hawass, when asked how Messi reacted to seeing one of the world's most revered monuments, said: "Messi is an idiot, and I am sorry to say that.
"I was explaining the antiquities to wow 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."
However, in a statement released Tuesday, 69-year-old Hawass - a former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs famed for his TV shows on Egypt's historic sites - took back his words, confessing his is a fan of the Barcelona superstar. He claimed his comments were misunderstood, and that they were originally meant to describe the interpreter during the tour.
"I apologize to Messi and his fans for the misunderstanding," he said. "The nature of brief telephone interviews does not allow enough time to accurately explain what is meant. That contributed to the misunderstanding."
Hawass added that he would love to take the 29-year-old Messi on a tour of ancient King Tutankhamun's tomb, located in Luxor, if the Argentine ever visits the North African country again.