Despite all of his many achievements, the money, the fame and everything else that comes with being arguably the greatest footballer in history, Lionel Messi has somehow managed to remain humble.
The legendary Argentine forward has obviously matured since he burst onto the scene 17 years ago but he’s still the same modest, quiet and unassuming personality that we’ve always known.
Away from the pitch, Messi shuns the limelight and rarely makes headlines for the wrong reasons. He’s a family man who enjoys nothing more than spending his free time with friends and loved ones.
Any aspiring footballer should look at the way Messi conducts himself both on and off the pitch and take notes.
Messi is also acutely aware of how much he means to football fans around the world and is always extremely polite to everyone he meets.
Messi and the story of the lucky red ribbon
That extends to journalists and reporters, as the following video involving the six-time Ballon d’Or winner proves.
During the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia, Messi was under intense pressure to drag Argentina through to the knockout stages following a 1-1 draw against Iceland and a 3-0 defeat to Croatia.
Before Argentina’s third match against Nigeria, TV reporter Rama Pantarotto handed Messi a red ribbon, telling the forward: “My mum told me to give this to you. I carry her red ribbon for good luck. If you want, I can give it to you. It’s from my mum so make sure to keep it safe because you’re kind of jinxed now.”
The same Argentine journalist then interviewed Messi after the superstar inspired his national team to a 2-1 victory in Saint Petersburg - and he was given the shock of his life.
“I don’t know if you remember, but my mother gave you a ribbon…”
Messi then said: “Look at this.”
He lifted up the sock on his left foot and there sat the red ribbon.
“No way, no way!” the reporter said.
He turned to the camera and added: “Mum, Messi wore it!”
You can watch the beautiful moment here:
“My dear mother sent a gift to Messi of a red ribbon,” Pantarotto tweeted alongside the video. “And the master tied it on his left ankle. I cry!”
One year later, Messi handed the lucky red ribbon to Paulo Dybala, who went on to score his first competitive goal for Argentina with it.
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