Dani Alves has criticised Lionel Messi for being "disrespectful" of Brazil with his controversial comments at the Copa America.

Argentina star Messi railed against "corruption" and the quality of officiating after harshly being dismissed for an altercation with Chile's Gary Medel in Saturday's bronze medal match.

Crucial refereeing decisions also went against La Albiceleste in their semi-final loss to host nation and eventual champions Brazil.

CONMEBOL – football's governing body in South America – branded the forward's allegations of corruption "unacceptable" and Brazil boss Tite urged him to show more respect.

Veteran right-back Alves, Messi's team-mate for close to a decade at Barcelona, echoed that view.

"A friend is not always right just because he's a friend. You can say it in the heat of the moment, but I still won't agree," the Brazil captain told SporTV.

"Firstly, he's disrespecting an institution such as the Selecao, in my view.

"Secondly, he's being disrespectful with several professionals who put a lot of things aside so they could be there fighting for a dream.

"I'm a friend who always tells the truth when it's due, and I think he was wrong for saying these things."

Argentina overcame Chile in the third-place play-off but Messi did not join his team-mates in collecting a medal.

Alves and Brazil went on to beat Peru in the final, winning the tournament for the first time since 2007.

UEFA has denied reports it would entertain inviting Argentina into its European competitions following the 2019 Copa America.

Argentina finished third at the Copa but captain and star man Lionel Messi voiced complaints following the semi-final and the third-place play-off, during which he was controversially sent off.

Messi described the officiating during the loss to Brazil as "bull****" and suggested his side were victims of "corruption" after beating Chile, which led to a strong rebuttal from CONMEBOL who described his comments as "unacceptable" and "unfounded".

It was subsequently reported UEFA could invite Argentina to enter its Nations League.

However, European football's governing body has denied this is the case, insisting such an offer would never be forthcoming.

A statement read: "There is no truth whatsoever in the suggestion that Argentina has been asked to participate in UEFA competitions, nor to become a member of UEFA.

"UEFA has never entered into any discussions on this matter and would never do so.

"However, in the spirit of friendship and camaraderie and as an inclusive organisation, UEFA will, of course, invite Argentina as special guests to watch any UEFA competition at any time."

Thiago Silva says it is natural for Lionel Messi to be frustrated with the referee after losing, suggesting Paris Saint-Germain had similar feelings in defeat to Barcelona in 2017.

Argentina great Messi described the officiating in his side's Copa America semi-final loss to Brazil as "bulls***" and suggested his side were victims of "corruption" as he received a controversial red card in the third-place play-off with Chile, which led to a strong rebuttal from CONMEBOL who described his comments as "unacceptable" and "unfounded".

"Maybe I'm paying for what I said last time," the Barcelona star said.

Brazil defender Silva, responding to the comments, suggested Messi had benefited from such decisions in Barca's incredible 6-1 Champions League win over PSG two years ago.

"This is difficult for us to comment on," he said after Brazil's 3-1 final win over Peru. "Sometimes in defeat, we try to focus on other people.

"I think he did not say it out of spite, but we are sad because, in the game we lost 6-1 to Barcelona, he played the referee, which, in my opinion, was ridiculous.

"But we did not give a statement that the referee was in favour of Barcelona. I think you have to show respect.

"Brazil do not have five stars [from World Cup wins] at random - none of them have been stolen. It was played on the pitch."

Silva's PSG and Brazil team-mate Marquinhos added: "[Messi] is a good person, but his statements were unfortunate and we Brazilian players did not like that.

"We lost in the World Cup against Belgium and there were also refereeing errors in his favour with Barcelona. I did not hear him talk about corruption at that time."

Peru coach Ricardo Gareca also weighed in on Messi's outburst following the defeat to Brazil.

"Messi is an authoritative voice, that does not mean I agree with him," Gareca said. "I respect him a lot - not just the player but the person. He seems to be very focused.

"But apart from the opinion we have of Messi, we can agree or disagree with him.

"I like that we would know what we have to improve in South America, but that does not necessarily mean that there is corruption or that we are corrupt.

"There is more and more information from Europe, where our children and grandchildren know more and more European players, and it seems that we want to imitate them in everything.

"There are good things in Europe, but we also have good things in South American football, too. I would like to defend South American football.

"If you speak of corruption, you must have convincing evidence. Football is a game and an individual can go wrong."

Brazil coach Tite hit back at Lionel Messi, accusing the Argentina star of lacking respect with his allegations of corruption.

Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" after controversially being sent off in Argentina's win over Chile in the third-place play-off on Saturday.

In a statement, CONMEBOL dismissed the star's comments as unacceptable and unfounded.

Messi was also furious after Argentina's semi-final loss to eventual champions Brazil, feeling his team were denied two penalties.

Speaking after Brazil beat Peru 3-1 in the final on Sunday, Tite was unhappy with Messi.

"The one that I considered an extraordinary player [Messi], extraterrestrial, put it that way, he has to have a little more respect and to understand and accept when he is beaten," Tite said, via Globo Esporte.

Brazil overcame Peru after goals from Everton and Gabriel Jesus either side of Paolo Guerrero's penalty, before Richarlison sealed the win with a late spot-kick.

However, they were also reduced to 10 men in the second half when Jesus was sent off.

Tite said Brazil had also had to deal with decisions going against them, including the harsh handball call on Thiago Silva that led to Peru's equaliser from the spot.

"We were hampered in a series of games, including the World Cup, so be very careful. I'm responding directly, I'm responding to the greatness he has," he said.

"We played clean against Argentina the whole time. I want to understand this as a moment of... he was sent off unjustly. He didn't deserve it, who deserved it was [Gary] Medel, so just be careful.

"We had to go through officiating today, too. We made a legal goal against Venezuela, everyone put it that way. Today, it wasn't a penalty on Thiago, but we went on, calm, watch out, respect."

Casemiro offered a subtle response to Lionel Messi's allegations of corruption after Brazil won the Copa America on Sunday.

Messi was controversially sent off in Argentina's win over Chile in the third-place play-off on Saturday before railing against "corruption" and "a lack of respect".

In a statement, CONMEBOL dismissed the star's comments as unacceptable and unfounded.

After Brazil beat Peru 3-1 to win their ninth South American title, Casemiro tried not to be drawn on Messi's comments, but offered a brief response.

"Those who have a mouth speak what they want," the midfielder told reporters.

"It's not my turn to speak. It's a delicate issue."

Goals from Everton and Gabriel Jesus and a Richarlison penalty saw Brazil past Peru despite a second-half red card for the Manchester City forward.

The officiating has drawn plenty of criticism at the Copa America, but Casemiro was unwilling to judge the referees' performances.

"It's not for me to say if the referee did well," he said.

"We all try to do the best and we must congratulate Peru for the great Copa they did."

CONMEBOL responded to allegations of corruption as they labelled Lionel Messi's comments "unacceptable" and "unfounded" at the Copa America.

Argentina defeated Chile 2-1 in the third-place play-off on Saturday, but Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" following his red card against the two-time reigning champions.

Messi – who was controversially dismissed in the first half after an altercation with Gary Medel – vented his frustration post-match, having criticised the officiating following Argentina's semi-final loss to hosts Brazil.

The Argentina captain's allegations angered the South American football governing body, which hit back in a statement.

"In football sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and accepting the outcome of a match with loyalty and respect is a fundamental pillar of fair play. Same goes to the refereeing decisions, that are human and will never be perfect," the statement read.

"It's unacceptable that because of incidents proper to the competitions, where 12 Nations competed in, all in equal condition, there have been unfounded accusations that misrepresent the truth and put to judgement the integrity of Copa America.

"Said accusations represent a lack of respect for the competition, all the football players involved and the hundreds of professionals of CONMEBOL, institution that since 2016 has been tirelessly working to transparent, professionalize and develop South American football."

Messi was dismissed when Chile's Medel reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the Barcelona star with his chest.

Neither Medel nor Messi raised their hands and the Chile man was the clear aggressor in the incident as both players saw red.

There was a VAR check but referee Mario Diaz de Vivar did not look back at the footage on the pitch-side monitor.

When asked why he was not on the pitch for the medal ceremony, Messi told reporters: "Because we don't have to be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa."

Messi added: "I always tell the truth. That leaves me calm. Then, if what I say has repercussions, it is not to do with me as I am always sincere."

Lionel Messi's red card in Argentina's 2-1 win over Chile at the Copa America bemused head coach Lionel Scaloni, who defended the country's captain.

Argentina ended their Copa America campaign with a bronze medal after overcoming Chile in Saturday's third-place play-off, however, the result was overshadowed by Messi's controversial dismissal.

Messi and Gary Medel both saw red in the first half after the Chile midfielder reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the five-time Ballon d'Or winner with his chest.

Afterwards, Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" following his decision to snub the medal ceremony at Arena Corinthians, having been critical of the officiating in the aftermath of Argentina's semi-final loss to hosts Brazil.

Asked about Messi's red card, Scaloni told reporters: "I have seen the video and so far, I do not understand what he did to have been expelled.

"It would be interesting if the referee came out to public to speak exactly what he saw and also the men of the VAR.

"Obviously, he made a very quick decision, very strange, and worst of all is that the VAR does not correct, because for this there is the VAR. The VAR is here to help, and today it did not help."

Scaloni added: "We have already seen a few times expulsions in which the referee returns in the decision and shows the yellow card. This is what should have happened in this case.

"If you look well, Messi did nothing. Well, they did not go back on the decision, they did not review it. I think the criterion is very strange. The other day Uruguay, I think it was by the nail of the foot, by the finger of Cavani pointed offside. They reviewed the video 55 times to try to justify, and with our team, everything that is against, is not reviewed.

"Not a good feeling, honestly. I do not want to think badly, but the feeling does not convince me. It does not convince our team, nor the Chileans, that we play today, Uruguay... There were many teams that had a bad feeling about this matter, and we were the most harmed because today we would be speaking in another situation."

Lionel Messi claimed Argentina were superior to Brazil and deserved to be in the Copa America final as the superstar insisted "football was not fair" to La Albiceleste.

Messi was controversially sent off in the first half as Argentina defeated Chile 2-1 in Saturday's third-place play-off at Arena Corinthians.

Argentina, who lost 2-0 to hosts Brazil in the semi-final, received the bronze medal but Messi did not appear with his team-mates during the presentation as the captain railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect".

Messi continued to be vocal post-match, however, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner believes the future is bright for Argentina.

"We leave this Cup with a triumph but above all with our heads up and with the feeling that this time football was not fair with us," Messi said in an Instagram post.

"For what we played and because we were superior to Brazil, we deserved to be in the final tomorrow.

"But we have to look forward and with optimism because there is a future and a very large base in this team and we just have to give time."

Messi was dismissed when Chile's Gary Medel reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the Barcelona star with his chest.

Neither Medel nor Messi raised their hands and the Chile man was the clear aggressor in the incident as both players saw red.

There was a VAR check but referee Mario Diaz de Vivar did not look back at the footage on the pitch-side monitor.

Messi blasted the officiating at the Copa America after Argentina were eliminated by Brazil in the final four in a match in which Lionel Scaloni's side had two penalty appeals that went unchecked by VAR.

He suggested the red card had been punishment for those comments, saying: "With a yellow card it would have been over for both of us, but, well, maybe I'm paying for what I said last time."

With Brazil set to face Peru in Sunday's decider, Messi added: "Hopefully, the referees and VAR won't influence it and they'll let Peru compete, but that looks difficult to me."

Messi said: "I always tell the truth. That leaves me calm. Then, if what I say has repercussions, it is not to do with me as I am always sincere."

Lionel Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" at the Copa America following Argentina's win over Chile in the bronze medal match.

Messi was sent off, along with Gary Medel, after an altercation in the first half of a tempestuous meeting at Arena Corinthians.

After the match, which Argentina won 2-1 thanks to first-half goals from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala before Arturo Vidal scored a penalty, Messi did not appear with his team-mates to collect his medal.

When asked why he was not on the pitch for the ceremony, he told reporters: "Because we don't have to be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa."

Messi was dismissed when Medel reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the Barcelona star with his chest. Neither Medel nor Messi raised their hands and the Chile man was the clear aggressor in the incident.

There was a VAR check but referee Mario Diaz de Vivar did not look back at the footage on the pitch-side monitor.

Messi blasted the officiating at the tournament after Argentina lost to hosts Brazil in the semi-finals in a match in which Lionel Scaloni's side had two penalty appeals that went unchecked by VAR.

He suggested the red card had been punishment for those comments, saying: "With a yellow card it would have been over for both of us, but, well, maybe I'm paying for what I said last time.

"The important thing is that the team finished the tournament well. We do not have get caught up in the lack of respect that happened here.

"I leave calmly, with my head high and proud of this group, who gave everything. I hope that this group is respected – it has a lot to give.

"The group showed a lot of personality. It's not easy to start with a defeat [against Colombia] and then drawing [against Paraguay] – that made us stronger and we finished in a very positive way.

"They could have reviewed the sending off, but VAR was not used."

Looking ahead to the final between the Tite's men and Peru, Messi said: "Hopefully, the referees and VAR won't influence it and they'll let Peru compete, but that looks difficult to me."

He added: "I always tell the truth. That leaves me calm. Then, if what I say has repercussions, it is not to do with me as I am always sincere."

Lionel Messi was sent off as Argentina beat Chile 2-1 to clinch Copa America bronze with both sides reduced to 10 men in an ill-tempered clash at Arena Corinthians.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner appeared to be the victim of shoving by Chile's Gary Medel, but the referee sent both players off after 37 minutes with Argentina already two goals to the good.

Messi provided the assist for Sergio Aguero's 12th-minute opener before Juventus forward Paulo Dybala doubled Argentina's lead, but the first half ended with protests against the contentious red cards.

There were 21 fouls before the break and sparks continued to fly as Chile were awarded a penalty just before the hour, Arturo Vidal scoring from the spot.

Reinaldo Rueda's men failed to force an equaliser, but there was time for two further bookings that took the tally of cards shown to eight at the end of an explosive encounter.

Aguero lashed a shot narrowly wide after seven minutes but made amends moments later when Messi's nonchalant free-kick picked out the Manchester City striker, who rounded Gabriel Arias before slotting home from a tight angle.

Chile's Alexis Sanchez limped off clutching his hamstring before Arias made a diving save from an 18-yard Messi drive but was beaten again when Dybala controlled Giovani Lo Celso's throughball and chipped over the goalkeeper from the edge of the six-yard box.

Dybala sent a flying volley just wide before a volatile first half turned nasty when Medel pushed Messi around the pitch only for the referee to send both players off amid vociferous complaints on all sides. 

The second half began with a a penalty claim, Charles Aranguiz appearing to bundle Aguero over in the box, but the referee saw no foul.

He awarded a penalty to Chile when Lo Celso slid in late on Aranguiz and Vidal lashed the spot-kick straight down the middle.

Lionel Scaloni sent on Angel Di Maria for Dybala and the winger embarked on a mazy dribble past several Chile players before selling Aguero slightly short with his final ball and the striker fired tamely at Arias with the last clear chance of the game.

 

What does it mean? Scaloni's future remains hopeful

Argentina's failure to reach the final left Scaloni under pressure and his contract is up at the end of the year, but avoiding defeat here will have taken some of the heat of the Albiceleste coach.

Dybala looking dangerous

Reportedly a transfer target for Manchester United, Paulo Dybala did his chances of earning a lucrative move away from Juventus no harm with a lively performance and a well-taken goal.

Pulgar lucky to stay on

On a night when the referee was struggling to keep order, Erick Pulgar was lucky to escape with just a booking after throwing himself into several rash challenges.

What's next?

Chile will have the opportunity for revenge when the two sides meet in September in a game that looks likely to make a mockery of the term 'friendly'.

Lionel Messi was sent-off after 37 minutes of Argentina's Copa America clash with Chile for his part in an altercation with Besiktas defender Gary Medel.

Tempers flared throughout the first-half of the third place play-off and Medel retaliated following a challenge from Messi by appearing to aim a headbutt before repeatedly pushing his chest into the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's body.

The pair continued to charge each other until referee Mario Diaz de Vivar produced straight red cards, sparking protests from both teams.

Those complaints continued after the half-time whistle was blown, with Argentina leading 2-0 courtesy of goals from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala.

Messi, who provided the assist for Aguero's opener, was making his 27th appearance for Argentina in the Copa America, surpassing Javier Mascherano to become the most capped Albiceleste player in the competition's history.

The 32-year-old was furious after Argentina's previous game - a 2-0 semi-final defeat to Brazil - for what he perceived to be poor refereeing decisions, branding the officiating "bull****".

Marquinhos revealed he suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting before rising to the "very complicated" challenge of marking Lionel Messi in Brazil's Copa America semi-final victory over Argentina.

The Paris Saint-Germain defender lasted 64 minutes of the match in Belo Horizonte despite being hit with a virus and, by the time Miranda replaced him, the Selecao were 1-0 up courtesy of Gabriel Jesus' first-half opener.

Roberto Firmino doubled Brazil's lead seven minutes after Marquinhos' departure and head coach Tite saw his back four restrict Argentina's front three of Lautaro Martinez, Sergio Aguero and Messi – although the latter two hit crossbar and post respectively.

Marquinhos hailed Messi's performance as "inspired" but conceded keeping tabs on the Barcelona talisman was a struggle.

"It was not easy, no," he told reporters. "He was on inspired [form that] night. Not only him, as the Argentine team made a great game.

"It was very difficult, but I think the team managed to cancel out the attacks of Argentina well.

"The ones we could not [cancel out] had some lucky chances, with balls hitting the post and Alisson made some great saves. That makes a strong and solid team."

Marquinhos said he received treatment at the stadium medical facility after the game, which saw Brazil progress to the Copa America final for the first time since 2007.

Brazil will play Peru in Sunday's final and the centre-back will hope he can stay fit and healthy as his team-mates aim to lift the trophy for the ninth time.

Describing his illness, Marquinhos added: "On the day of the game, I ended up [suffering from] a virus and I spent the day at the hotel.

"[It was] very complicated. [I had] diarrhoea and vomiting, I still managed to play a little, but with the effort it got worse [during the] game."

"After the game, it ended up getting worse too. I had a fever and I ended up having to go to the stadium infirmary. But I managed to get an injection and I feel better."

Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni insisted he has already passed a major test of leadership ahead of his team's Copa America third-place play-off against Chile.

After several years of chopping and changing managers, Argentina were hopeful Scaloni would lead them to trophy glory in Brazil to prove without any doubt he is the right man for the job.

He was appointed last year in the wake of Argentina's World Cup failure, when Jorge Sampaoli was in charge.

At the Copa, however, Argentina missed out after losing 2-0 to hosts Brazil in the semi-finals and inevitably that led to questions being asked of Scaloni's leadership.

He addressed that issue on Friday, saying: "I do not feel as though I am on trial. I think my test has already passed. Bringing these players and making them play was my test, and I did it. What we came to do, we did."

Scaloni believes he has selected the best available squad for Argentina and said: "These players will be the future of the national team, whoever the coach is."

His contract runs until the end of the year, and it might help Scaloni's prospects of a longer run at the job if Argentina can deliver an assured performance on Saturday at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo.

"The match with Chile is important," said Scaloni. "We want to finish in the best way possible. Everyone is motivated."

The match is a repeat of the 2015 and 2016 final, both of which Chile won on penalties after goalless draws.

Chile's Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda looked back to the title match of three years ago, saying both teams are now in a new era.

Arturo Vidal is a major doubt for the game, Rueda revealed, saying the Barcelona midfielder's sprained ankle needed to be cared for. "But we know his character and his desire to be out there," Rueda added.

The former Honduras and Ecuador boss saw Chile lose 3-0 to Peru in their last-four game and, like Scaloni, he wants to leave Brazil on a winning note.

"It is an important match in every sense," Rueda said. "For dignity, pride and for wanting to finish well in a tournament at which something we achieved something important."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Argentina - Lionel Messi

Messi was furious with the officiating in Argentina's semi-final defeat, reflecting the mood of a nation after two possible penalties were turned down and not referred to VAR. If he plays, will the Barcelona superstar be in the mood to take out his frustration on Chile? Messi has suggested he is ready to play on at least until next year's Copa America, which Argentina are co-hosting with Colombia, so this is not likely to be a farewell game.

Chile - Alexis Sanchez

While his Manchester United team-mates prepare to jet off to Australia on tour, Sanchez is finishing off his campaign in Brazil. The man who has flattered to deceive at Old Trafford could give United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a close-season boost by signing off from this tournament with a stirring performance - and he could still finish as the Copa America's outright top scorer given he is one of 13 players tied for the lead on two goals.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Argentina have won 59 of their 88 meetings against Chile in all competitions (D23 L6).
- Argentina lost on the only previous occasion they played in a third-place play-off in a Copa America tournament, beaten 2-1 by Colombia in 1987.
- This will be the first third-place play-off between two teams that have faced each other before in a Copa America final.
- Chile and Argentina lost their semi-final games against Peru and Brazil, respectively, despite having attempted 10 shots more than their opponents (Chile 19-9 Peru; Argentina 14-4 Brazil).
- Chile's Charles Aranguiz has created the most chances (17) in the 2019 Copa America; at least four more than any other player.

Frenkie de Jong is relishing his chance to extend Barcelona's Dutch connection after arriving at Camp Nou.

The former Ajax midfielder was formally presented as a Barcelona player on Friday, and the 22-year-old is primed to be a key figure in the club's future.

Barca have close ties to Netherlands, largely because of their association with the late Dutch great Johan Cruyff, a superstar player and highly successful head coach of the Catalan club and Ajax.

The Cruyff traditions have sustained, and De Jong is sure he will fit in at Barcelona because of that factor.

He said: "Netherlands and Barca have always had a good connection, and Barca and Ajax have a very similar way of playing, with the philosophy of Johan Cruyff. Ajax and Barca want to play in the same way, and that's great for me."

De Jong helped Ajax reach the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals, earning widespread praise and catching the eye of the world's biggest clubs.

"My dream has always been to be a Barcelona player, so the decision to come here was very easy. I'm very happy and very proud," he said.

"When the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, came to Netherlands expressly to see me, it showed that they believed in me a lot. They told me that I would be a very important player for the club.

"Everyone in the squad is a great player; Barca have the best players in the world and I will have to show that I can be part of the first XI, where I can play in any position in the midfield."

De Jong is naturally excited to have Lionel Messi as a team-mate, with the Argentinian having driven Barcelona to new heights over the last decade.

"I'm very happy to be able to play with Leo Messi, and I can't wait to get started," De Jong added, according to Barcelona's website.

Frenkie de Jong is in dreamland after officially joining Barcelona and becoming a team-mate of his idol Lionel Messi.

Barca announced the signing of De Jong from Ajax in January, with the move effective ahead of the 2019-20 season, agreeing to potentially pay the Dutch club a remarkable €86million.

A supremely gifted and technical midfielder, De Jong has impressed at Ajax over the past few years but really rose to prominence last term, when he helped Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals.

In De Jong, Barca feel they have a player capable of becoming the heir to both Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets, such is his well-rounded style of play.

And it is not lost on De Jong what it means to represent the Blaugrana, as he prepares to play alongside Messi.

"I am very happy to be here finally," he told Barca's official website. "As a child it was a dream for me to play at Barca, and now I'm here so it's great.

"I'm really looking forward to setting foot on the Camp Nou pitch for the first time. I'm happy to be able to play with Messi, who I have always followed. Now my idol will be my team-mate."

While the step up from the Eredivisie to LaLiga could be significant, De Jong does not expect to struggle in his adaptation period, pointing to the similarity between the philosophies taught by Barca, Ajax and Netherlands.

"I like Barca's way of playing," he added. "The philosophy of Barca and Ajax are very similar, and I think I will enjoy it.

"Barca and Holland have always had a great, special connection, and I hope to follow in that tradition. I want to be one of the great Dutch players who have played at Barcelona."

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