“He really is seen like a god” – English filmmaker opens up on experience of visiting Lionel Messi’s old neighbourhood in Argentina

Lionel Messi grew up in Rosario, Argentina
Lionel Messi grew up in Rosario, Argentina

Cole Robinson, owner of Newcastle-based film firm Filmit UK, visited Lionel Messi's hometown in Rosario, Argentina. His visit came on December 14, four days before Argentina played in the FIFA World Cup final.

He recorded a documentary named "Argentina's most dangerous city". He visited Messi's old neighborhood as well. In a chapter named ‘How one city is quietly dominating world football’, Robinson said (via Gazette Live):

“It was interesting to be in an area where the entire world eyeballs around one individual and everybody is very keen to tell you how they’ve got some kind of link to him (Messi) and he really is seen like a god. It’s like every wall in the city is covered in graffiti in honour to him."

He added:

“It was eye-opening in terms of how the area he came from is a poor area. The barrio (neighbourhood) is certainly of lower social economic status but he was and is this kind of beacon for people in the area to look towards - ‘if he can get out then I can get out’ which is why people hold him in such high esteem because he provides a truth that there’s a way out of the poverty people experience.”

He further compared the area to Middlesborough, saying:

“It’s somewhat similar to Teesside or the Middlesbrough area where I’m from in that it has a lower social economic status, like the area generally struggles compared to the rest of the country."

Lionel Messi led Argentina to FIFA World Cup glory four days later. He scored twice in the final against France that La Albiceleste won via penalties.

Lionel Messi's future is up in the air

Lionel Messi played his final game for Paris Saint-Germain against Clermont Foot. The Parisians lost the match 3-2. The Argentine will now leave the club as a free agent as his contract expires.

Messi has been linked with a transfer to Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal. The Riyadh-based team has reportedly tabled an offer worth £320 million per season for the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Lionel Messi's father, Jorge Messi, meanwhile, recently held a meeting with Barcelona president Joan Laporta regarding the player's possible return. However, Barca are reportedly yet to put up a formal bid for the player.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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