In the world of Football, it isn’t uncommon for a player to swap jerseys with another player after the game is over as a sign of respect. Unsurprisingly, the world’s greatest footballer, Lionel Messi, is asked to swap jerseys often.
On November 11th’s UEFA Champions League match, Messi was asked just that. After scoring one goal to help Barcelona FC beat FC Dynamo Kyiv 2-1, Messi was asked for his jersey. According to Onefootball, the defeated team’s manager, Mircea Lucescu, was the one who requested the jersey. A manager asking a player for his jersey is rare.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the UEFA Champions League has disallowed the swapping of jerseys, to help prevent the spread of Covid. An article from ESPN reads “UEFA has also warned players to refrain from the post-match tradition of swapping shirts with opponents in another safety measure aimed at preventing infection.”
Messi had no choice but to turn down the Romanian manager’s request, reminding him of the new safety precautions. He did however offer him a fresh jersey from the locker room.
Lionel Messi is a man of few words. He isn’t known to ask for player’s jerseys after the match is over, he only gives them out to those who do. Messi’s determination to get Lucescu a jersey shows his humbleness and the level of respect he has for his opponents.