Lionel Messi: Clip of Barcelona legend comforting opponent after cup final

Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest player to have ever played the game.

The Argentine has a record seven Ballons d’Or to his name following an incredible 17 seasons in Barcelona’s first-team.

During that time, he scored 672 goals in 778 appearances in all competitions.

But even before he signed for Barcelona at the age of 13, Messi’s quality was evident.

At the age of six, he signed for Newell’s Old Boys in his native country. During the six years he played there, Messi scored almost 500 goals. Everyone knew he was destined for great things.

But despite being far and away the best player whenever he took to the pitch at such a young age, he was also incredibly humble.

And nothing sums that up better than a clip that’s going viral this week.

The clip, from 1997, is filmed from the Friendship Cup, which was held in Peru.

Messi had just helped Newell’s Old Boys win the final, scoring a hat-trick in the meantime. As Messi and his teammates celebrated the victory, he saw a devastated opponent collapse to the floor in sadness.

Messi, wearing the No.10 shirt, saw it and immediately ran over to comfort him. His gesture was copied by the rest of his teammates. The opponent was eventually helped to his feet in a fantastic show of sportsmanship.

Take a look:

VIDEO: A 9-year-old Messi consoles his opponent

Beautiful.

Messi finished that tournament as top goalscorer with 10 goals in the semi-final and final but it’s clear from that clip that being the best player wasn’t the only thing that mattered to him.

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Which city was Lionel Messi born and raised?

Throughout his career, Messi has been constantly asked whether he believes he’s the best player in world football. However, a 2012 quote perhaps best sums up his attitude: “I am more worried about being a good person than being the best football player in the world.”

Turns out he’s both.

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