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GETTING SHIRTY

Lionel Messi reveals the only player he’s ever asked to swap shirts with

The Barcelona maestro was speaking after their 7-1 thumping of Osasuna on Wednesday night

Swapping shirts with the world’s greatest player is kind of a big deal.

So, by virtue of being the best on the planet and arguably the best of all time, Lionel Messi doesn’t have to ask that often.

Messi celebrates his dramatic late winner in El Clasico

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Messi celebrates his dramatic late winner in El Clasico

But the Barcelona maestro has revealed to Spanish news outlet Invictos that he has indeed asked for the gesture – but only ever on one occasion.

And it won’t sit particularly well with the Barca faithful.

“I am not one to ask to swap shirts. I asked, once…I asked Zidane,” he said.

Zidane is the only player Messi has asked

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Zidane is the only player Messi has asked

“I don’t ask for shirts. If there is an Argentine, I will swap with an Argentine.

“If not and there is someone else that asks me, I will swap it with them. If not, I do not look and do not ask.”

The debate sparked after Juventus duo Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini appeared to disagree over who would get Messi’s shirt following their Champions League victory over Barcelona last week.

Lionel Messi and Leonardo Bonucci trade shirts after the full-time whistle at the Nou Camp

ESPN FC
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Lionel Messi and Leonardo Bonucci trade shirts after the full-time whistle at the Nou Camp

Bonucci was caught by lip readers trying to get the Argentine star’s attention before the final whistle, which didn’t sit too well with his defensive partner who pleaded with him to maintain focus until the match had finished.

It seems those are the risks even the best players take to get their hands on such a prized asset.