Lionel Messi: PSG starlet Ismael Gharbi meets his idol for the first time in training

  • Tom Ward
Paris Saint-Germain starlet Ismael Gharbi meets Argentina superstar Lionel Messi for the first time

This is the heart-warming moment Paris Saint-Germain wonderkid Ismael Gharbi was left completely starstruck after meeting Lionel Messi for the first time.

Gharbi could hardly believe his luck after Mauricio Pochettino made the introduction during the Argentine’s first training session since his arrival this week, with the 17-year-old almost giddy with excitement that left him with a huge grin on his face. 

But the France U-17 star didn’t let the occasion get the better of him after meeting the 34-year-old, with the teenage prodigy demonstrating wisdom beyond his years by politely offering to help him adjust to life in Paris. 

Gharbi, of France, offered his assistance to Messi – who at 34 is at least 17 years his senior – telling him: “If you need something, I am here for you!”

You’ve certainly got to admire the boldness from someone so young.

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Gharbi began his career at Paris FC in 2010, and six years later joined the Paris Saint-Germain academy in 2016.

And PSG U17 coach Hervé Guégan has tipped the French starlet for the top. 

The 17-year-old dazzled as PSG claimed top spot ahead of FC Barcelona in their qualification group during the Alkass International Cup.  

Ismael Gharbi idolised Lionel Messi

Ismael Gharbi idolised Lionel Messi 

He scored five goals in total across the tournament, including a brace against Kashiwa Reysol in the group stage, a goal against Zenit Saint Petersburg in the quarter-finals, one against Inter Milan in the semi-finals, and another against the Mohammed VI Academy in the third place playoff final. 

The playmaker is highly rated by PSG chiefs – and Guégan insists there is still more to come. 

Guégan lauded: “He has a real sensitivity to the game, technically he is at ease, and he always makes the passes at the right time.”

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