It happened in 1997: category 87 of Newell’s disputed the Friendship Cup in Peru and devastated, with a Leo Messi dazzling, wearing number 10. The Twitter account @Messismo10 evoked that participation, which represented the star’s first tour outside of Argentina. And he did it with a snippet of a video that quickly went viral.
Because of the devilish dribbling of the Flea? Because of his ability to invent goals? No, for a gesture that speaks of his people skills. “The Friendship Cup final ends. A boy from the rival team collapses from sadness. Number 10, who had scored three goals, realizes it and goes to comfort him. It was Messi when he was 9 years old.”says the text that accompanies the eloquent images.
The bunch of promises of the Rosario team celebrates, while a small adversary lets himself fall in pain due to the sporting stumble and another teammate assists him. Immediately, it seems to be the coach who notifies the Argentines of what happens near the celebration. The small group breaks ranks with Messi at the head. The Flea kneels down and speaks to the boy. His partners on the field of play follow him. Fair Play at its finest.
That contest was a sample of what Leo could offer the world of football. The striker, now 34 years old, was the tournament’s top scorer: he shouted seven times in the semifinals against Cantolao’s 89th class, and three in the definition against the 87th class of the same team. It was in that duel that he had the attitude held today on Twitter, to the point that the video collected more than 2000 RT and 19,500 “likes”.
In addition, the competition, based on the name (“Friendship Cup”), proposed that the boys who came from other countries stay with local families. It was thus that Messi stayed with the Méndez, who were left with great memories of their visit, to the point that in 2012, on a trip to Peru by the Argentine team, its members approached the airport with an allusive poster.
But the excursion had its difficult moment. The thing is the chicken that was served as a welcome did not go well with the PSG attacker today. William, the father of Kevin, the young man who played against Messi on the pitch, narrated the episode: “They were going to take him to the hospital because he fainted, but when he heard that he ordered a drink and went out on the pitch to face my team.“Before he left he was very kind and left us his shirt,” he recalled then.
“He was like Oliver Atom from the ‘Supercampeones’, because he always said that the ball was his friend”, recalled the former adversary of the Argentine. But he also had a sense of camaraderie, which he proved in that gesture before the defeated, which went viral 25 years later.
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The exciting detail of a video of Messi at the age of 9 that became viral