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Lionel Messi's shirt collection and the truth behind his reluctance to swap jerseys

Lionel Messi doesn
Lionel Messi doesn't usually swap shirts after a game
ANALYST
Modified 26 Mar 2021
News

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is hailed as one of the greatest footballers of all time, so it's only natural that opposition players scramble to exchange shirts with the Argentine after a game. However, it is well documented that the 32-year-old won't swap shirts unless he's asked to do so, which was seen recently after Barcelona's victory against Eibar.

Eibar goalkeeper Edgar Badia asked for Lionel Messi's shirt after the game and looked chuffed when the Argentine wanted his in return. In the past, though, the legendary attacker has also politely declined the opportunity to swap shirts, as was the case with Alphonso Davies after Barcelona were on the wrong end of 8-2 demolition against Bayern Munich last year.

Speaking to TyC Sports via The Mirror, Lionel Messi revealed that the only player he has ever asked to swap shirts with was Zinedine Zidane.

"I don't ask for shirts, I usually swap them, but I asked Zidane once. If there is an Argentine I swap it with him, but, unless someone asks me, I'm not asking anyone."

However, Lionel Messi has quite the shirt collection in his Barcelona mansion. While Cristiano Ronaldo's shirt is missing, Real Madrid legends like Iker Casillas and Raul can be seen quite clearly.

Jerseys from former Barcelona teammates like Cesc Fabregas, Luis Suarez and Dani Alves are understandably part of his collection, but his prized possession comes in the form of Pablo Aimar's #8 shirt. Aimar is reportedly Lionel Messi's idol and his compatriot's shirt hangs proudly in his collection.

Lionel Messi could extend Barcelona contract in 2021

FC Barcelona v SD Huesca - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v SD Huesca - La Liga Santander

While Lionel Messi was determined to leave Barcelona after handing in a transfer request last summer, the situation is believed to have cooled down in recent months.

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The Argentine seems much happier under Ronald Koeman and the appointment of Joan Laporta as club president could also play a pivotal role in his decision.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are believed to be interested in signing Messi, but the Barcelona captain is no closer to making his decision as things stand. The 32-year-old, however, seems to be enjoying his football currently and could well put pen to paper on a new deal at the end of the season.


Published 26 Mar 2021, 16:07 IST
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