Messi, unharmed, has a punch thrown at him

Buenos Aires: Lionel Messi was unharmed when a youngster apparently threw a punch at him as he was leaving a restaurant in his home city of Rosario.

The assailant was among a throng of people looking for autographs from the Barcelona star on Thursday, a witness told Argentine TV. It was not clear if the punch landed, or what the intent was. Messi went on signing autographs.

"There was a crush of people waiting outside," Pablo Moyano, who was working in the restaurant, told Argentine TV.

"There were kids, reporters, photographers waiting …

and one of the kids tried to punch him. I don`t know if he pulled it off. He went running afterward."

Associated Press photographer Jose Granta also saw the incident and the youth racing off.

"Nothing serious happened," Granta said. "But the intent for some kind of aggression existed.