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L. Messi

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

4:02 AM EST 12/6/22
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.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

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.