Lionel Messi: Argentina star kept promise to Brazil fan with tattoo of him

Lionel Messi is a man who is adored by millions across the globe.

The Paris Saint-Germain star is one of the most famous and loved athletes in history thanks to his unquestionable footballing brilliance.

Messi‘s popularity around the world is so great that many have honoured him with a tattoo on their body.

We have absolutely no idea exactly how many Messi tattoos there are out there, but we’d wager a decent amount of money that the overall figure is in the thousands.

But while we can’t provide specifics in that regard, we can name the greatest example of inked art featuring the Barcelona legend.

The tattoo belongs to a Brazilian named Igor Magalhaes, whose entire back is covered with an image of Messi’s iconic celebration after scoring a last-minute winner against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2016/17.

You remember it, the one where the Argentine whipped off his jersey and held it up to the home fans, so they knew exactly who it was who’d broken their hearts.

Brazilian fan’s enormous Messi tattoo

Brazil fan's Lionel Messi tattoo

It’s quite something, isn’t it? According to ESPN, it took three full sessions across 2019 to complete the colourful masterpiece.

Such was the dedication from Igor that when TYC Sports posted footage of the tattoo, Messi himself commented: “Terrible tattoo! I love it! I would like to see it and sign it.”

And as it turned out, Messi was a man of his word.

Last summer when Argentina visited Brazil for the 2021 Copa America, a rendezvous was arranged between Igor and Messi outside of the team’s hotel in Brasilia.

With a marker pen in hand, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner walked over to Igor with a security team and fulfilled his promise.

Messi signed the tattoo

You just love to see it.

Igor was so ecstatic with Messi’s selfless actions that he proceeded to get a tattoo of the signature shortly after.

He told journalist Matias Pelliccioni: “I thought Messi was not going to stop. I saw him, he looked at me and turned my back. I am happy forever, there are no more words to describe this. I want to say thank you very much to all the Argentine people.”

Image: @igormagalhaez

A real feel-good story and signing the tattoo appeared to bring Messi some luck, as he went on to win the 2021 Copa America with Argentina, which was his first major international trophy.

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