- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2011

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (AP) - Lionel Messi was not hurt Thursday after a youngster threw a punch at the Barcelona soccer star as he was leaving a restaurant.

The youngster was part of a throng wanting Messi’s autograph, a witness told Argentine television. It was not clear if the punch landed or what the intent had been. Messi went on signing autographs.

“There was a crush of people waiting outside,” said Pablo Moyano, who was working in the restaurant. “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.”

Witnesses said the suspect was dressed in the uniform of a school located a few blocks away.

Messi arrived in his home city Rosario this week and is taking a few days of vacation before practice starts next week for the Copa America _ the South American championship.