It was an iconic tribute from one former Newell’s player to another.
Lionel Messi, a fervent Newell’s supporter who started his career at the club, celebrated his goal for Barcelona against Osasuna by removing his shirt to reveal the late Diego Maradona’s number ten shirt from his spell at Newell’s.
Messi’s 73rd minute goal was Barcelona’s fourth but what came after was an emotional gesture for Maradona and for Newell’s fans across the world.
Messi even raised his hands in the air, just as Maradona had done when unveiled as a Newell’s player in October 1993.
Diego Maradona only played 5 competitive games for Newell’s Old Boys but became a hero of the club after choosing to come to Rosario following nine years playing in Europe. He stayed a life-long fan of La Lepra, often sending messages to the club’s fans while wearing a Newell’s shirt.
He was received at Newell’s Old Boys’ home ground Estadio Marcelo Bielsa as a hero in October 2019 when his Gimnasia side played Newell’s in the league.
On Sunday night (29 November), Newell’s Old Boys will play another of Maradona’s former clubs, Boca Juniors, in the stadium where he made his name – La Bombonera.
Here’s the moment Messi took off his Barcelona shirt to reveal the classic Newell’s Old Boys shirt worn by Maradona in 1993:
Even more fascinating is the similarities between Messi’s goal before he revealed the Newell’s shirt and the goal Maradona scored on his debut for Newell’s Old Boys against Emelec in 1993.