Personal, pure and symbolic: Messi's perfect Newell's homage to Maradona | Sid Lowe

  The Guardian 

Image source : theguardian.com
A tribute in a Barcelona or Argentina shirt might not have felt right. No one expected a Newell’s one but it worked better Lionel Messi could feel the weight of Diego Maradona’s No 10 on his back. It was the final moment before kick-off in the 917th game of his career, the first without Diego, and Europe’s largest stadium stood virtually empty and entirely silent. At each end of the ground, maternity hospital on one side and cemetery on the other, a picture of Maradona was projected on the screens, in the directors’ box a man held a framed shirt, and on the pitch Barcelona’s and Osasuna’s players gathered around the centre circle where a floral offering was made, four days afterhis death . Among them, Messi looked at his feet, knowing there was something he had to do. So he did. Ninety minutes later and with 18 left in the match, Messi scored the goal that gave him the opportunity to make an offering of his own. Barcelona were already three up, it wasn’t the afternoon’s best goal, not ▶ Full story on theguardian.com
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