The PSG player was headed down the tunnel at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, Israel, after a friendly match when the incident occurred.
Soccer star Lionel Messi is being lauded for helping a fan who was being dragged away by security after the match. The young supporter had been trying to get a selfie with the player when security intervened and forcibly tried to drag him from the player. Messi was headed down the tunnel at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, Israel, when the incident happened. Messi had just finished playing a friendly soccer match and was exiting the pitch into the tunnel when the kid tried to reach him and get a selfie with the player. Security guards on either side of him backed into Messi to protect him. One of the guards pulled the boy away and then pushed him to the ground.
Even as the guards tried to force him to the ground, he had eyes only for Messi, calling out to him. Hearing the commotion, the Argentinean player noticed the boy being pushed to the floor and immediately intervened. He asked the guard to let go of the boy. The kid had a phone on him and it was evident he wanted a selfie with the soccer star. Messi beckoned the boy toward him and the security guards released their grip on him and guided him towards Messi, who then posed with the kid for a picture just as he had wanted.
Messi saved this fan from security so he could get his selfie ❤️— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 2, 2022
(via barcamanil/IG) pic.twitter.com/B4fHv0qtYi
The video has since gone viral with many hailing the superstar for keeping an eye out for the boy. It's not the first time Lionel Messi has been praised for being empathetic and charitable to fans, especially kids. In 2018, Messi learned of the Sant Joan de Deu Hospital in Barcelona struggling to raise funds for a new department for the specialized treatment of children with cancer. The then-Barcelona star helped raise awareness about the cause. Roughly 27 million euros was raised, following which he donated the remaining three million to achieve the goal.
Lionel Messi visits the Hospital SJD Manuel Del Castillo after his Foundation made a final donation to help complete the funding for the new Pediatric Cancer Center.— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) October 19, 2018
A beautiful gesture. 👏 pic.twitter.com/eqvODG4AaC
“It’s a very happy moment for me, it’s extraordinary to be part of this project and see it become a reality," said Messi at the time. “I want to thank everyone who worked to make this possible. I hope that with this, the kids can continue fighting this cancer disease which is so cruel and that we can help them do so. I feel very happy to be able to collaborate in this dream,” he said. Messi also visited the hospital and interacted with kids when the construction of the new Pediatric Cancer Center began. He also donated $665,000 to help refurbish a hospital in his hometown, Rosario. He helped arrange for respirators during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. He had the machines flown to Argentina in a private flight to help fight the crisis, reported Tribuna.
Lionel Messi promised to help cover the treatment of a 12-year-old kid, Waleed Kashash, after he came to know that the boy had been diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency (GHD), reported Goal. Messi himself had suffered from the same condition and it nearly ended his dream of becoming a footballer. It was Barcelona who helped cover the treatment costs when he was a child. He now wanted to pay it forward and help a kid that had the same condition as him. Messi vowed to pay the child's medical bills for six years until the boy turned 18. A woman named Soad al-Affani alerted Messi of the youngster's plight. Messi responded that he would cover the cost of $212 every 15 days until he turned 18. Messi also took a photo of himself holding Waleed's T-shirt and penned a sweet message calling on him to be strong.