Lionel Messi is not only one of the best footballer players of all time, but also an incredible human being off the pitch. To aid the victims who have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lionel Messi pledged €500,000 to a hospital in Argentina and also made sizeable donations to similar facilities in Barcelona.
The Argentine's good-will gestures are well documented and he is one of the most respected athletes of the modern era. Back in 2010, Lionel Messi was involved in one such episode, as his remarkable gesture helped raise funds for a good cause.
Colombia was devastated by a flood that year and several people lost their lives, while many others were left homeless. Barcelona took on Almeria in La Liga in 2010 and before the game, Colombian native Fabian Vargas requested Lionel Messi for his shirt.
Lionel Messi's heartwarming gesture after the game
The then 29-year-old wanted to auction Lionel Messi's shirt and raise funds for the benefit of the flood victims. The Argentine obliged and the game began, as Barcelona recorded a stunning 8-0 victory on the night.
After the game, Vargas was so devastated by the result that he had forgotten to collect Lionel Messi's shirt. However, the former defensive midfielder was met with a pleasant surprise after the game, as Barcelona attacker went up to him with a little bag in his hands.
When Vargas collected the bag and opened it inside the dressing room, he was surprised to see that there were several shirts alongside Lionel Messi's.
The Argentine had requested the likes of Dani Alves, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Xavi to donate their shirts, as he went out of his way to help a good cause.
Vargas lavished praise on Messi's actions later and described it as a gesture he'd never forget.
"I thanked him and hugged him [thinking that it was just his shirt as I had requested from him]."
"When I came back and opened the bag, there was [not just] Messi's shirt, but also those of Xavi, [Andrés] Iniesta, Dani Alves, [Gerard] Piqué and [Carles] 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."
The Argentine was just 22-year-old at the time but showed maturity beyond his years to raise money for a noble cause.
Lionel Messi has been in stunning form this season and has spearheaded Barcelona's title charge. The diminutive Argentine has recorded 19 goals and 12 assists in La Liga and leads the league for both those stats.
Barcelona are involved in a thrilling title race with Real Madrid, as they find themselves just two points clear of Los Blancos in the La Liga summit. With La Liga expected to resume later this week, Barcelona will hope Lionel Messi carries on from where he left off to lead them to yet another league title.Published 09 Jun 2020, 21:06 IST