CAIRO — Egypt’s best known archaeologist has apologized after he angrily called Argentine football superstar Lionel Messi “an idiot” because the striker seemed to show little interest during a tour of the Giza Pyramids.

Zahi Hawass, famed for his Indiana Jones hat and TV specials on Egypt’s ancient sites, showed Messi around the Pyramids last month.

In a TV interview, he was asked about the Barcelona striker’s reaction.

“Messi is an idiot,” he snapped. “I was explaining the antiquities to him and there’s no reaction in his face.

The Giza pyramids near Cairo. (photo credit: Melanie Fidler/Flash90)

The Giza pyramids near Cairo. (Melanie Fidler/Flash90)

Zahi Hawass (Wikipedia)

Zahi Hawass (Wikipedia)

“I was explaining things that would make a rock react, but he was just like an idiot.”

In a statement late Tuesday, Hawass said he was expressing anger over an inefficient interpreter.

“I apologize to Messi and his fans for the misunderstanding,” he said.