In the match against Ecuador, Messi had a fantastic encounter with someone from his childhood. They met after years.
Last night, the Argentine national team defeated the Ecuadorian national team with a minimal score of 1-0. The only goal came from a free-kick by Lionel Messi. Minutes after the final whistle, the camera captured Leo having a friendly conversation with the Ecuadorian goalkeeper, and then they exchanged jerseys. They share a history that dates back to their childhood.
The goalkeeper is Hernan Galindez; he plays for the Ecuadorian team "Aucas" but was born in Rosario, Argentina, before changing his sporting nationality. Galindez was the first-choice goalkeeper for the national team during the Qatar World Cup and retained his place in the starting lineup after the tournament.
The 36-year-old Argentine, in an interview with ESPN, shared that he had a shared childhood with Leo Messi, as both of them hail from Rosario. He also recalled some exciting details.
Hernan remembered that during one of the youth tournaments in Argentina, he had to step in as the goalkeeper in an emergency. Throughout the tournament, Galindez only conceded one goal – unsurprisingly, it was from Messi.
«The first goal of my life was scored by Messi. In Rosario, we were neighbors, and of the same age, so we often played against each other,» Galindez reminisced. He had previously played as a midfielder before taking up the goalkeeper position.
In another interview, the Ecuadorian national team goalkeeper recalled that in one of the finals, his team was better than Messi's team: «Instead of a trophy, they gave the champions ten bicycles. In Rosario, we played seven-a-side matches on the grass. I was the goalkeeper for 'Estrella Juniors.' I was in the final on the field, and we managed to defeat them. I have a DVD that proves I met the future legend.»
«Lionel Messi is an example. I often hear people say that Messi didn't have to work hard, that he won everything at Barcelona, that he's a millionaire. But Messi had to leave behind his entire life, friends, and school at 12 to see if he could become a footballer. That's the kind of effort he had to put in,» added Galindez.
«Six months after my debut with 'Rosario Central,' I was kicked out of the team. Rosario is a city that lives and breathes football. It was challenging for me. I received threats, and I even thought about leaving football. Ecuador gave me a chance to play football again. The move to 'Universidad Catolica' in 2012 was a rebirth for me.»
Published by Patrick Jane