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Despite Losing 2-0, Al Hilal Star Asked for Lionel Messi’s Jersey 30 Seconds Before Full-Time After Being Denied Earlier

Published 11/21/2023, 5:54 AM EST

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via Reuters

To get the jersey of one’s soccer idol is a dream come true for anyone. But what if you get it when you’re playing against your idol? This was what happened to a former Girona star with Lionel Messi. The Moroccan player who had missed the opportunity earlier, reserved the jersey worn by his idol La Pulga despite losing to his team in a La Liga match!

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There are certain promises that a person never forgets. For the soccer players, a jersey swap is that promise. Al Hilal’s Moroccan star recalled such a story with Inter Miami star Lionel Messi. He further pointed out that the Argentinian had made him the promise in the previous season. Yassine Bounou, currently in Al Hilal, during his time at Girona, made the jersey swap request with Messi. This is despite his team losing 2-0 to Messi’s Barcelona at that time.

Al Hilal star recalls the story of getting to swap his jersey with Lionel Messi


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In the 2018/19 season, Girona were trailing 2-0 against Barcelona with 10 men. In the last 30 seconds, they got a corner, this is when Bounou got the opportunity to remind Lionel Messi of the promise he made last season. Speaking on the best shirt of his career, he said. “I remember that we lost 2-0 and the match was almost over. In the corner, I said I could ask him for the shirt, I told him: Sorry, I asked for the shirt in last year’s match and you told me next time because you had already replaced it in that match. We lost 2-0, and there were 30 seconds left before the final whistle, and it was the last corner. I told him, “Remember, remember the shirt.” 

The Al Hilal star managed to get the shirt. However, he has also shared the story of when he wanted the Argentine’s signed jersey but failed to get it.


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Yassine Bounou could not get the autograph of Lionel Messi on the shirt of his childhood club


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Bounou also revealed how, on a previous occasion, he wanted Messi’s signed Newell’s Old Boys shirt, but couldn’t, “After the match we exchanged shirts and I told him I have a Newell’s Old Boys shirt and I want you to sign it for me. Unfortunately, I was not able to take it to him because it was difficult to enter the dressing room more than once.

Yassine Bounou was impressive at Girona before he went to Sevilla and won 2 Europa League trophies. He is currently enjoying his time at the top of the table in Saudi Arabia with Al Hilal.


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WATCH THIS STORY- Soccer Stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo Makes a Huge Assist for Esports Space

Al Hilal is four points ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr. After the story, Messi fans can now back Al Hilal to win the Saudi Pro League!

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Written by:

Anuj Nikhil Virjiani


One take at a time

I'm Anuj Virjiani, a soccer writer at Essentially Sports, and I can't express how deep my passion for the sport runs, especially when it comes to the English Premier League. Over the years, I've dedicated myself to understanding the intricate details of the game, both on and off the field. What's fascinating is that my beloved club is Newcastle United, and I've been on a rollercoaster journey with them, from their triumphant promotion from the second tier to the recent takeover and even their remarkable qualification for the Champions League last season.
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Edited by:

Sreeda U M