Messi’s gift to Qadar’s Almoez

Qatar striker Almoez Ali looks to have a famous new admirer in Lionel Messi after his Asian Cup goal scoring exploits. 

Almoez scored nine goals as the 2022 World Cup hosts won the event for the first time, breaking the record for the most strikes at the leading Asian continental tournament. 

Messi was impressed enough by Almoez’s feat to send the 22-year-old a personalised and signed Barcelona shirt. 

The shirt, from Barcelona’s home strip this season in the iconic red and blue stripes, has Almoez’s name and number on the back in gold

Almoez wore No 19 as he fired Qatar to their greatest achievement on the football field, including an overhead kick in the 3-1 final victory over Japan.

Messi has added an extra special touch for Almoez with his name and signature visible on the number.

Almoez scored his spectacular and acrobatic strike in the 12th minute of the final, which took him past Iran legend Ali Daei’s tournament record, set in 1996.

A 27th minute strike from Abdulaziz Hatem and a late Akram Afif penalty helped the Qataris make an emphatic statement ahead of their hosting of the World Cup. 

The Sudan-born 22-year-old’s record goal came after a protest by hosts United Arab Emirates into his eligibility to represent Qatar was dismissed by the Asian Football Confederation only a few hours before the final kicked off. 

This post is also available in: Somali

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