Lionel Messi surprised fans all over the world after he refused to celebrate after scoring the first goal in the 2015 Club World Cup final between Barcelona and Argentine side River Plate.
Following the match, the Argentine superstar revealed that his muted celebration - during which he decided to simply raise his hand - was in honour of the River Plate fans, after 'ruining' the final for them.
"I know how much effort all those fans put into making that trip and how excited they were," Messi said. "And there was me, the Argentinian, scoring the first goal and ruining it all for them. I don't know if I was actually saying sorry, but it was a type of apology."
The Catalan side won the final 3-0 after a Luis Suarez brace followed Messi's goal. The Blaugrana were later crowned World Champions in Japan following their remarkable 2014/15 campaign, during which they won the continental treble.
Lionel Messi's future at Barcelona remains uncertain
Following the appointment of Joan Laporta as Barcelona president, two stories have dominated headlines around the Nou Camp - the long-term future of Lionel Messi and the rumored transfer of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
Lionel Messi has remained tight-lipped on whether he will sign a new deal with the Blaugrana this summer. The forward publicly spoke out last summer about wanting a move away from Catalonia.
Messi's future was a major issue brought up during Laporta's election campaign and the Spanish executive claimed that Barcelona would make competitive signings in the transfer market to entice the Argentine to stay at the club.
The Blaugrana have been linked with free transfers for the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Alaba, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Memphis Depay to make room in their transfer budget for the arrival of Erling Haaland.
The 20-year-old Norwegian striker has become one of the most sought-after players in world football. However, according to Marca, Haaland is unlikely to link up with Messi at the Nou Camp. Dortmund are set to assign a €180 million price tag to the player, in an effort to prevent Barcelona and other European clubs from signing him.
The arrival of big names at the Nou Camp could have an impact on Lionel Messi's decision to stay at the club. The Argentine has spearheaded Barcelona's campaign this season alongside a younger generation of players who have shone under Ronald Koeman. Barcelona are now in the Copa del Rey final and are making a late push for the La Liga title.