Lionel Messi was the star of the show as his brace helped Barcelona records a convincing 3-0 victory over Elche at Camp Nou.
However, it was his post-match gesture that earned him applause as he asked Edgar Badia for his shirt in return after the Elche keeper approached Messi for his shirt.
Badia had a moment of surprise when the Barcelona icon asked for his shirt and quickly responded to the request. It was a moment that showed universal respect Lionel messi has among his peers.
Fans on social media were quick to point out Lionel Messi’s chic gesture, considering that Badia is not one of the most prominent names in the game. The 29-year-old was in the second division as recently as last year, but has made a name for himself since helping the Valencians get promoted to the top flight.
Moreover, Lionel Messi rarely asks for shirts in return, although he is almost always besieged by requests for his shirt after a game.
The Argentina international once revealed that he is not asking to swap a shirt unless he has a compatriot on the opposing team. However, he said he had already looked for Zinedine Zidane for a shirt swap during the latter’s playing days.
Can Lionel Messi lead Barcelona to glory this season?
Lionel Messi’s brace against Elche took him to 18 league goals for the season and two clears in the La Liga Golden Boot race.
Barceona have endured a miserable campaign and are set to end a second season without a trophy. Lionel Messi continues to lead their charge, but the 33-year-old has performed significantly below his otherworldly standards.
The Blaugrana were at the end of another heartbreaking UEFA Champions League defeat last week, with Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick. Paris Saint Germain to a 4-1 win at Camp Nou.
Barcelona also suffered a 2-0 defeat to Sevilla in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final and face a battle to reverse the deficit by hosting the Andalusians in a fortnight. Their La Liga charge is also floundering, as they are five points behind Atletico Madrid, who have one game going.
It remains to be seen what the future holds for Lionel Messi. However, if Barcelona are to save anything from what has been a bad campaign, their talisman will have to be at its best.