What's the story?
Former Boca Juniors and Almeria midfielder Fabian Vargas has revealed a touching gesture made by Barcelona captain Lionel Messi during the Catalan giants' 8-0 rout of Almeria in 2010 and added that it is a gesture that he will never forget.
In case you didn't know...
Barcelona, then under Pep Guardiola, famously demolished Almeria 8-0 in 2010, right before an intense El Clasico against arch-rivals Real Madrid.
While Messi netted a phenomenal hat-trick, Bojan scored a brace during the Catalan goal-fest. Goals from Pedro and Iniesta as well as an Acasiete own goal capped off the insane scoreline that condemned Almeria to a devastating defeat.
Vargas, who was a part of the Almeria squad who faced the wrath of the traveling Barcelona team, has now revealed a heart-warming story about how Messi helped the flood victims of his home country, Colombia, with a simple gesture during the game.
The heart of the matter
Speaking to Colombian newspaper La Pais, Vargas revealed, “Before the game, some friends had called me to ask for my shirt to auction it for the benefit of the victims in my country because of the floods that year. I took advantage of playing against Barcelona, I went to look for Leo [Messi] before the game to tell him the situation and ask him if he could give me his shirt.”
The Colombian midfielder recalled that he had forgotten about the favour he asked from the Argentine ace following the heavy defeat.
“I left the court so angry and sad that I forgot the subject [that he had asked him for his shirt]. I went out and there he was with a little bag. I remember he said, ‘Look, these are the shirts that I could collect for you.’ I thanked him and hugged him [thinking it was just his shirt as I had requested of him].”
“When I came back and opened the bag, there was [not just] Messi’s shirt but also those of Xavi, Iniesta, Dani Alves, Piqué and Puyol.”
“I will never forget that gesture. [I wish that he] continues to break records. Because of his gesture to me, it’s something I [will] always want.”
Messi will feature in Barcelona's semi-final second leg clash against Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday and will hope for an advantageous result to get into the European finals.Published 06 May 2019, 17:14 IST