Lionel Messi gifts shirt to FC Dallas opponent after unforgettable night

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Lionel Messi has once again shown his class both on and off the field following Inter Miami’s win over FC Dallas in the Leagues Cup. The Argentine produced a show-stopping performance and continued to impress afterwards when he met Argentina Under-17 star Alan Velasco at full-time.

The game was a moment Velasco admitted he will “never forget” despite being on the losing side. The match ended in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, knocking Dallas out of the cup, following a 4-4 draw after full time.

Although the result was in favour of the opposition, the Dallas winger’s experience playing against his idol and fellow countryman will live long in his memory.

“It’s a game that I will never forget in my life,” Velasco said in an interview with ESPN, via infobae. “I played against Messi, he gave me his shirt and a hug. I asked for it, clearly. I’m happy on that side.”

On the night Messi managed to steal the show after scoring just six minutes into the game. The World Cup winner rolled back the years when he teamed up with former Barcelona team-mate Jordi Alba, who grabbed the assist.

Both teams then converted a flurry of chances with Dallas up 4-3 with five minutes of full-time to go. A goal was needed to ensure the game was taken to penalties, which set the stage for Messi to step up and score an expertly placed free-kick.

Messi would go on to score again in the penalty shoot-out, as well as another ex-Barcelona teammate in Sergio Busquets. Dallas’ Paxton Pomykal saw his decisive kick miss the target to give Miami the win.

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During the game, Messi and Velasco were seen in conversation, with the 21-year-old revealing: “I spoke [about] something that a friend of his had told me, nothing bad. Where he grew up in his childhood, that’s why he was surprised.”

The result meant Dallas were knocked out of the cup, leaving Velasco disappointed despite meeting his idol. “We are leaving sad,” he said. “It was a game that we had two goals in favour of, we played a great game until 80 minutes in and we lost concentration – or I don’t know what happened.”

Up next for Dallas is a trip to Philadelphia Union on Sunday August 20. Messi’s Inter Miami will face Charlotte FC on Friday night in the quarter-finals.

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