‘Fanboy moment!’ - Lionel Messi left ex-Man Utd winger Angel Gomes stunned with shirt swap request
- Winger currently on the books at Lille
- Facing superstars in Ligue 1
- Boasts a prized jersey in his collection
WHAT HAPPENED? The England U21 international is currently plying his club trade in France for Lille having bid farewell to Old Trafford in 2020. A spell in Ligue 1 is allowing Gomes to line up against the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi. One meeting with PSG in February 2022 saw Gomes pluck up the courage to ask Messi for his jersey at the end of the game, with the Argentine leaving him in shock as he pushed to take his Lille shirt in return.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Gomes has told Football Focus: “It was just like a fanboy moment, I can't lie. [He] gave me his shirt, he took his t-shirt off and he gave it me. And for me, I was like 'alright, happy days', like cheers. And he was like 'wait, are you not giving me your shirt?' I was like 'what, you want my shirt?!' He was like 'yeah', so I was like 'alright'. From watching him on TV, watching videos of him actually playing, to playing against him and getting his shirt, it was surreal for me.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Gomes can consider himself fortunate to form part part of an elite club, with Messi having revealed in the past that he never asks to trade tops. He has said: “I don't ask for shirts, I usually swap them, but I asked [Zinedane] Zidane once. If there is an Argentine I swap it with him, but, unless someone asks me, I'm not asking anyone.”
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Messi’s shirt remains one of the most prized possessions for any opponent that he lines up against, with the 2022 World Cup winner assured of a standing among the all-time greats as he runs his contract at PSG down towards free agency in the summer of 2023.