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07th May 2019

Heartwarming anecdote from retired footballer shows Lionel Messi’s generosity

Lionel Messi is the greatest footballer the world has ever seen, by all accounts he's also one of the nicest blokes in the game

Reuben Pinder

The GOAT is also seemingly a lovely bloke

We all know Lionel Messi is the greatest footballer to ever grace this planet. He’s shown it time and time again to the point now that those who question his status as the world’s best might as well be flat-earthers. But the diminutive genius very rarely reveals much about his personality. Shy in nature, he’s not very active in the media and lets his feet do the talking.

But thankfully, others will speak for him. And a recent anecdote from former player Fabian Vargas printed in Colombian newspaper El Pais demonstrates Messi’s generosity that we don’t often hear about.

“I was preparing an auction for those affected by the floods in Colombia that year,” Vargas said.

“Fortunately, we [Almeria] played against Barça, so I took advantage and told Leo before the game, asking him for his jersey, as well as Xavi and Iniesta,” Vargas said.

“Leo said there would be no problem. But we lost the game by a landslide (0-8) and after it was over, I was so angry that I forgot about the shirts. Already in the changing room, our kit man told me that Messi was at the door of the locker asking for me.”

Yes, you guessed it. Messi stuck to his word but to Vargas’ joy, he had gone above and beyond.

“These are the shirts I’ve been able to get,” Messi told Vargas. “He had a bag and inside his shirt was, along with those of Xavi, Iniesta, Dani Alves, Pique and Puyol.”

That gesture stuck with Vargas and offers an insight into Messi’s character. Vargas successfully actioned the shirts off and donated the money to those suffering as a result of floods in Colombia.

“I will never forget that gesture from Messi. That’s why I always hope he keeps breaking records,” said the Colombian.