Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is a class act on and off the pitch and the Argentine’s generosity has been highlighted once again.
Assistant referee Octavian Șovre has been in the headlines this week after being spotted asking Erling Haaland to autograph his red and yellow cards after Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League clash with Manchester City.
— Fancy Di Maria (@FancyDiMaria_) April 8, 2021
It has since been revealed that the cards will be auctioned this month for charity on Facebook to help autistic people at the SOS Autism Bihor centre in Hungary, as reported by The Guardian .
Șovre has given an interview to Playsport.ro to talk about the gesture and the fact that he once asked Messi for a similar favor and was left surprised by how the Barcelona captain responded.
“A special situation is that of Lionel Messi. I talked to him more about this topic. He listened to me and when he found out what it was about, he signed me 9 cards, not one,” he explained. “You realize I wouldn’t have asked him for that, but he was impressed when I told him about the people who will benefit from these signatures.”
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Messi Set For Record Clasico
Messi is currently preparing for Saturday’s crucial El Clasico against Real Madrid where the Argentine could add another record to his collection. The Argentine is in line to equal Sergio Ramos at the top of the appearance list in the famous fixture.
The Real Madrid captain will miss out with a calf injury but has made more appearances in El Clasico than any other player. However, Messi will equal his record of 45 Clasico outings if he features, as expected, on Saturday at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.
The Barcelona captain certainly looks in good shape in training for what is a must-win game for both sides as they aim to keep the pressure on leaders Atletico Madrid in La Liga.
Messi is ready 👀 pic.twitter.com/9Yt6zWCi1l
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 8, 2021
Messi is already the top goalscorer in Clasico history. The 33-year-old has found the back of the net 26 times against Los Blancos and will be aiming to extend that record on Saturday.
Messi Backed to Stay at Barcelona
The Barcelona captain’s future remains the subject of speculation heading into the final weeks of the season with his contract at the Camp Nou due to expire at the end of the season.
Messi asked to leave last summer but much has changed at Barca since and there is renewed optimism he will stay. Former Argentine teammate Franco Di Santo has told Goal’ s Nizaar Kinsella he hopes the forward does stay at Barca.
“It would be great for whoever signs him in the Premier League or Italy. To see him in another context would be cool,” he said. “However, I would like to see him stay in Barcelona to build his legacy. If I were him, I would ignore whatever people say and do what my heart says. I would do what’s best for my family and me. Maybe that’s to make Barcelona strong again.”
Ronald Koeman does seem to be building an exciting new team at Barca with impressive youngsters such as Pedri, Ilaix Moriba, and Sergino Dest all shining this season, and there’s no doubt the Dutchman will want Messi to continue and help nurture the young talents at the Camp Nou.