Why Lionel Messi refused to give Scott McTominay his jersey

Lionel Messi played Scott McTominay in the Champions League in 2019
Lionel Messi played Scott McTominay in the Champions League in 2019
Modified 02 Apr 2021

Scott McTominay has revealed an interesting story about Lionel Messi refusing to give him his jersey after a match. The Manchester United star managed to get the Barcelona star's jersey but had to convince him for it.

Barcelona defeated Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate in the Champions League quarter-finals back in 2019. The Catalan side's captain was left with a bloody nose in the first leg, and Lionel Messi believed it was Scott McTominay who did it, while in reality it was Chris Smalling whose elbow had caught the Argentine.

Scott McTominay was talking to ESPN when they asked him who he believes is the best player in the world. The Manchester United star picked Lionel Messi straight away and revealed the story of mistaken identity. He said:

"Messi, 100 per cent. Yeah, Messi, Messi. I got his shirt, you know? So, whenever we played against him for Barcelona [in 2019], Chris Smalling elbowed him and he's got blood coming out of his nose. And he thought it was me."
"Because I said to Sergio Romero: 'Please can you ask Messi to get his shirt?'. Sergio comes back in and said: 'Oh, he thinks you were the one who elbowed him on the halfway line'. I said: 'No, no, no, no - tell him it wasn't me, so make sure I get that shirt because that's going in my bedroom'. So he knows it wasn't me now."

What happened to Lionel Messi when Barcelona met Manchester United in the Champions League?

During the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals between Manchester United and Barcelona, Chris Smalling and Lionel Messi engaged in multiple tussles. On one such instance the former Manchester United defender got the ball, but his flailing arm caught Lionel Messi in the face. The Argentine had a cut on his nose and eyelid, forcing the play to stop for the Barcelona doctors to attend the blood rush. It was not the first time Messi had been hit by an opponent but one can maybe assume that unlike most hits on the Argentine, Smalling's intentions may not have been that dirty.

Barcelona managed to win the game at Old Trafford 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Luke Shaw. The 2nd leg saw Lionel Messi score a brace in the first 20 minutes of the match to help his side make it to the semi-finals with ease.

Published 02 Apr 2021, 11:52 IST
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