Lanzini gets shirty with Lionel!
Manuel Lanzini has expressed his pride after Lionel Messi posted a photo of his West Ham United shirt on social media.
The Barcelona superstar published an image of himself and son Thiago sitting among his collection of football shirts on Instagram, with Lanzini’s Claret and Blue No28 taking pride of place next to Messi’s own jerseys.
Among the dozens of other shirts on show were those Messi had exchanged with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez, Francesco Totti, Raul, Deco, Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry – but it was Lanzini’s which stood out alongside the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s iconic Argentina No10 strip.
The Argentinian duo met in Barcelona through a mutual friend last year, when they swapped signed shirts, with the Hammers’ newly-crowned Players’ Player of the Year describing the encounter as a ‘dream come true’.
Lanzini himself spotted the post, telling whufc.com he idolised the 29-year-old during his own formative years with Buenos Aires giants River Plate.
“It’s amazing, because the best player in the world put my t-shirt on there!” said the 24-year-old. “I could not believe it.
“I would not say we are friends, but I met him one time in Barcelona because we have a mutual friend and that’s when it happened. He gave me his t-shirt and I gave him my t-shirt and he’s a very good person. It’s good!”
Playmaker Lanzini has enjoyed an impressive season for West Ham, scoring eight goals in 37 games in all competitions, while Messi has continued his imperious form for Barcelona, netting an amazing 51 times in 49 appearances.
The Hammers No10 was selected for the Argentina Olympic squad for Rio 2016, only to miss the tournament through injury, but the former River Plate star could yet force his way into Jorge Sampaoli’s for next summer’s FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.
Should he do so, he would line up in the same shirt as Lionel Messi!