The One Player Lionel Messi Asked To Swap Shirts With
If you have the pleasure of coming up against Lionel Messi on a football pitch, you are obviously going to do your best to get his shirt.
When Juventus kept out Barcelona at the Nou Camp and progressed to the Champions League semi-finals with a 3-0 aggregate win a couple of years back, the imperious defensive duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci had a friendly fight over who was going to get Messi's shirt after the game.
The power of lip-reading suggests that Bonucci was desperate to swap shirts with Messi.
Around 13 seconds in, the subtitles, roughly translated, say that the Italian said: "Leo, can we swap shirts?".
in the end, Bonucci won the duel and swapped shirts with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner. However, it turns out that Messi isn't really into the whole act of shirt-swapping.
As quoted by Spanish language outlet Invictos, Messi noted that he has never been one to ask to swap shirts with another player and normally only swaps if an Argentine player is on the opposite team.
But he did make a very big exception when he came up against Zinedine Zidane in the early days of his career.
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"I am not one to ask to swap shirts. I asked, once...I asked Zidane," he said.
"I don't ask for shirts. If there is an Argentine, I will swap with an Argentine.
"If not and there is someone else that asks me, I will swap it with them. If not, I do not look and do not ask."
To say Messi isn't really a shirt-swapper, his shirt collection in his house is pretty special. Alongside a plethora of his own shirts are a smorgasbord of shirts from across the footballing world.
Teammate Gerard Pique has a good spot as do PSG winger Angel Di Maria, Roma legend Francesco Totti and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure.
Of course, West Ham's Manuel Lanzini also features in a prominent position...wait, what? They are both Argentines after all, I guess.
We imagine, in most cases, it's the other players asking for Messi's shirt and Leo obliges. Fair do's.
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