Lionel Messi is paying tribute to a soccer legend…
The 33-year-old Argentine futbol star dedicated a goal to the late Diego Maradona in his return to the F.C. Barcelona team in a 4-0 romp against Osasuna on Sunday.
Messi, who’d been rested for the 4-0 win against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday, scored the fourth goal and celebrated by revealing a Newell’s Old Boys shirt in Maradona’s honor, following his death at the age of 60 on Wednesday.
Messi began his youth career at Newell’s before joining Barcelona and Maradona was on the books at the Rosario-based club at around the same time, toward the end of his playing career.
The Catalans had paid homage before kickoff to Maradona, who played for the club in an eventful yet disappointing spell from 1982 to 1984, hanging a framed signed shirt of his above the presidential box while the players held a minute’s silence in front of an old Barca shirt bearing the No. 10.
Barca, who had begun the day 14th in La Liga, won comfortably with Martin Braithwaite, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho also on the score sheet.
“Maradona deserved an emotional tribute like that, we have lost a global idol,” Coutinho said. “Everyone in football admired him and we’ll all miss him.”
Griezmann added: “We didn’t know what Messi had prepared in tribute to Maradona, it was a beautiful surprise.