Lionel Messi: Fan footage emerges of PSG star hugging pitch invader after Argentina win

Lionel Messi in action for Argentina against Venezuela in a World Cup Qualifier

The world was watching what, in reality, was a fairly routine win for Argentina against Venezuela in Caracas. 

Indeed, during the 3-1 World Cup qualifying victory for the visiting side, Adrian Martinez’s tackle on Lionel Messi with the game in its dying embers could well have caused serious injury and, at 34, perhaps even worse for the Paris Saint-Germain forward. 

As you might expect, the challenge has been replayed around the world and, fortunately, Messi escaped from the horror tackle without grave concern. 

It wasn’t the only talking point, however. 

Such is the global appeal of the Barcelona legend, fans across the globe are seemingly determined to meet him whenever he’s in town. That was the case again in the Venezuelan capital as further footage on social media has emerged of a young pitch invader desperate to meet his idol. 

The supporter manages to find his way onto the running track that surrounds the pitch before jumping over the advertising hoardings. Then, he’s seemingly got a free run across the field of play while the players embrace after the full-time whistle, eventually finding Messi who hugs him. 

Cynics, of course, will be aghast at the lack of security but the warmth in which Messi appears to greet the young supporter is at the very least pleasant to see. Every child has their idols, of course. It just so happens Messi represents that for millions of people in every corner of the map. 

Of the gruesome tackle, Argentine media outlet TYC Sports (via Spanish publication Marca) were scathing in their response. 

“RED? It was for jail! Breathe, Leo is fine,” they wrote. 

Luckily, Messi looks to be ready to return to action for the 2021 Copa America winners for their games against Brazil and Bolivia.

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At what age did Messi join Barcelona?

Fresh from making his PSG debut, it will be fascinating how he adapts to life in Ligue 1 and just how exactly Mauricio Pochettino plans to use him alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. 

Playing for Argentina for the first time since his move, Messi’s stellar career could soon have a second chapter. Indeed, if the ambitious recruitment drive over the course of the summer works out in the French capital, expect the South American to have played a major role. 

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