Lionel Messi
Messi celebrates his goal against Bosnia

Football star Lionel Messi has lost hundreds of supporters after footage emerged online that appears to show him ignoring a child during the World Cup.

In the 30-second YouTube clip, the Barcelona striker can be seen greeting the coaches and referees ahead of the Argentina v Bosnia game.

But as the little mascot puts out his hand requesting a handshake, Messi avoids his handshake and bypasses him. The disappointed little boy then walks away clearly upset.

Although it looks like the 26-year-old was simply distracted ahead of the match and failed to notice the youngster, it did not stop fans taking to social media to express their shock and outrage.

While some chose to give him the benefit of the doubt others claimed he he had let fame get to his head.

"Poor kid. Messi will have been nervous / focused and most likely didn't notice the poor little kids' outstretched hand. At least I hope so anyway," one fan said.

Another wrote: "That's what happens when people get TOO famous, rich, and popular. They end up not giving two s***s about anyone else (including their family) and being snobs.

A third added: "I think this is terrible. He is so mean"

In just hours the nclip had gone viral racking up over 400,000 views online.

Following the backlash Messi insisted that he was a family man and would never ignore a child.

"It's crazy. How could I not say hello to a kid, I just did not realize. I was thinking about something else," he said when quizzed about the incident at a press conference following Argentina's 2-1 victory.

"I feel bad because I don't like people say that kind of things about me. I have nephews and a son. I would have never do something like that. Just after that I was with two kids in the queue talking an enjoying."