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L. Messi

How Australia sub Devlin snared historic Messi shirt from Argentina superstar’s 1,000th game

09:02 GMT 06/12/2022
Lionel Messi Cameron Devlin
Cameron Devlin has revealed how he landed a historic shirt from Lionel Messi’s 1000th game despite being a substitute for Australia against Argentina.
  • Socceroos faced Albiceleste in 2022 World Cup
  • Suffered a 2-1 defeat in round of 16
  • Hearts midfielder landed prized memento

WHAT HAPPENED? The Socceroos lined up against the Albiceleste and their talismanic captain in the last-16 of the 2022 World Cup, with Messi and Co proving to be too strong on the day as they made their way into the quarter-finals on the back of a 2-1 win. That contest was a historic one for seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, as he reached another notable landmark, but it was Devlin who walked away with a prized memento despite failing to take to the field.

WHAT THEY SAID: The Hearts midfielder has told FOX Sports on how he managed to swap shirts with an all-time great: “I went on [the pitch] and consoled all the boys first and then shook Messi’s hand. No one had said anything so I just tried my luck and he said, ‘I’ll see you inside,’ and that’s what happened. I definitely wanted one of the other boys to have the opportunity first, but no one took it, so I thought why not?”

Devlin added on passing his own jersey to an iconic figure: “I don’t know if it will be on his wall at home or maybe still on the ground in that changing room but I’m not fussed — it’s more that I got his. I was surprised he even took mine. He definitely wouldn’t know who I am, but he’s a nice enough bloke and a humble enough bloke to still show that respect, and that’s obviously super nice, but I wasn’t too worried about what my jersey was doing at that stage.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Devlin landed Messi’s shirt, plenty of other Australian stars were able to get a post-match selfie with the South American superstar as they waited patiently outside Argentina’s dressing room for him to emerge.


WHAT NEXT? The Australian squad has now returned home from Qatar, but Argentina are into the last eight and have a crucial clash with the Netherlands to take in on Friday – a contest that will see Messi looking to add to his three tournament goals so far.