There has to be a rule prohibiting this. An assistant soccer referee, Nicolas Yegros, asked Lionel Messi to take a photo with him, and the superstar agreed to do so.
Even stranger was that it happened at halftime of a game in which Messi was playing and the referee was supposed to be working.
The bizarre incident took place Tuesday during Argentina’s victory over Chile in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
After the referee ended the first half, both sets of players were heading for the tunnel. Yegros approached the Argentina and FC Barcelona star and asked for a quick photo.
Messi posed awkwardly while an unknown person captured the moment on a tablet. When it was done, Messi walked away like things like this happen all the time. He had already scored, and Argentina was leading 2-0, so he must have been in good spirits. Argentina went on to win the game 2-1.
It wasn’t the first time someone tried to bask in Messi’s glow during a game. Last season, Manuel Friedrich and Michal Kadlec, two Bayer Leverkusen players, fought over Messi’s jersey in their dressing room … at halftime. In August a fan ran onto the field during a game between Germany and Argentina just so he could shake Messi’s hand.
Messi made that fan’s day, and Yegros knows how the lucky guy feels. The Paraguayan official probably wasn’t too worried about consequences, as Al Arabiya reports it was his last official game.
See Messi’s photo-op with the referee’s assistant in the video below.