Superstar Lionel Messi came out of the tight security bubble of his hotel to fulfill the dream of his die-hard Brazilian fan who had his iconic celebration against Real Madrid tattooed on his back. The Argentine team were leaving for a practice session ahead of their game against Paraguay and before getting on the team bus, Messi added his signature to the body art.
The fan, named Igor Magalhaes, is a military firefighter from the municipality of Sobradinho, Brasilia. The tattoo, which took three full sessions to complete, depicts Messi celebrating his late winning goal - 500th of his career - in a 3-2 victory against Real Madrid in 2017. In the inked design, the Barcelona megastar is seen holding his No.10 shirt aloft to a silenced Bernabeu crowd.
The epic homage to Messi was heralded by Argentinian media this weekend after Magalhaes was spotted watching the Argentina national team train in Brasilia for their 2021 Copa America group game against Paraguay in the Brazilian capital.
It soon featured on the Instagram account of broadcasters TyC Sports, where it garnered a million views in just a few days. Astonishingly, Messi left a comment himself, saying "Terrible tattoo, I loved it. I would like to see him and sign it."
Staying true to his word, Messi, accompanied by the team's security chief, wandered over to the small group of fans and signed the loyalist’s back.
Igor was over the moon with the rosy turn of events. "Now I can die in peace," he wrote on Instagram after sharing a photo of the once-in-a-lifetime moment.
It comes as no surprise that the post also received hundreds of comments from envious football fans from around the world, most of whom reckoned that Igor is one of the luckiest people in the world.
"I thought Messi was not going to stop," the Brazilian told journalist Matias Pelliccioni. "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.
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