Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

DREAM TEAM

Your Sun

A News UK Company
TOP
JERSEY BOYS

Why does Lionel Messi keep so many average players’ shirts?

The Argentine uploaded a photo to Facebook sat alongside his son Thiago in front of a host of shirts

The nature of being the best player to ever walk the planet means you’re going to have to put up with the incessant approaches from mere mortals to swap shirts.

And sorry, we’re not talking about you Cristiano.

 cry cristiano ronaldo ronaldo sob weeping GIF

3

Lionel Messi claimed recently the only player he’s ever directly asked to trade jerseys with is Zinedine Zidane, but a recent photo uploaded to his Facebook shows he doesn’t exactly discard the ones of those who have approached him either.

In the snap, Messi can be seen posing with his son Thiago in what looks like a bootroom of all the shirts he’s collected throughout his career.

Lionel Messi proudly displays his shirt collection alongside his son Thiago

3
Lionel Messi proudly displays his shirt collection alongside his son Thiago

The Argentine understandably wasn’t shy to hang iconic legends of the game like Francesco Totti, Iker Casillas and Raul on display.

They’re joined by more current heroes like Luis Suarez, Philipp Lahm and Dani Alves.

But why are there so many distinctly average players so proudly showcased as well?

West Ham fans will enjoy the sight of Manuel Lanzini’s number 28 shirt sandwiched between Cesc Fabregas and Pablo Aimar – but that’s far from the strangest inclusion.

Oscar Ustari, positioned bottom left, once joined Sunderland in 2014 but never played for the Black Cats because they preferred Vito Mannone.

Oscar Ustari now plays in Mexico after a spell with Sunderland

Action Images
3
Oscar Ustari now plays in Mexico after a spell with Sunderland

Yikes.

Those eagle-eyed among you may have also spotted Youssef El-Arabi’s shirt in the top right of the photo, with his career highlight coming when he helped Granada avoid relegation in 2013.

And what about Rodrigo De Paul, who has managed just seven goals in 91 games since moving to the European leagues?

Rodrigo De Paul moved from Valencia to Udinese

EPA
3
Rodrigo De Paul moved from Valencia to Udinese

Hardly esteemed company.

Messi currently leads the way for the European Golden Shoe – the award given to the most prolific marksmen in Europe’s top leagues – after another sensational campaign for Barcelona.

His main rival in Ronaldo, whose shirt was unsurprisingly not on display, is lagging well behind.