Copa America: Lionel Messi Leaves Canada Kids Awed in Heartwarming Video

Copa America: Lionel Messi Leaves Canada Kids Awed in Heartwarming Video

Rene Otinga
updated at June 21, 2024 at 5:42 AM
In this article:
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CONMEBOL Copa America logo
CONMEBOL Copa America
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  • Argentina got their Copa America 2024 campaign to a winning start after beating Canada 2-0 on Thursday, June 20
  • Lionel Messi pulled the strings for his team and came up with a crucial assist for his side’s second goal, scored by Lautaro Martinez
  • Before the game, fans and Canada mascots were left star-struck by the presence of the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium

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Lionel Messi had a delightful moment with Canada’s young mascots prior to Argentina’s kickoff against Canada at the Copa America on Thursday, June 20.

Argentina are on a mission to secure a third straight major title after winning the Copa America in 2021 and the World Cup in 2022.

Lionel Messi, Canada Mascots, Copa America, Argentina
Lionel Messi left some Canada mascots in awe during Argentina's Copa America opener against Canada on Thursday, June 20. Photo: Hector Vivas/
Source: Getty Images

Messi set a Copa America record with his appearance against Canada at the Mercedes Benz stadium by playing in his 35th match at the tournament.

In what is likely his last major competition with La Albiceleste, Messi was treated to arguably the warmest reception any football player has ever received on the international stage.

Fans marvel at Messi

Video footage of scenes from the tunnel at the Mercedes Benz stadium has since emerged, showing Messi awing some young Canadian mascots.

In the video shared by @MessiXtra, the mascots could barely hide their excitement, while some were simply too stunned to speak by the fact that a player considered the greatest in football history was standing before them.

It got awkward for some Canadian players, whose mascots completely snubbed them for a chance to touch Messi.

Argentina beats Canada

After a goalless first half, it only took three minutes after the restart for La Albiceleste to open the scoring, as Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez slotted into an empty net after some good work by Messi.

The Inter Miami star, who missed a host of chances throughout the match, got an assist in the 88th minute, setting up substitute Lautaro Martinez, who put the game beyond doubt.

According to ESPN, Argentina’s next group game will be against Chile on Wednesday, June 26, before facing Peru four days later.

Where Messi ranks in assists-per-game ratio

Sports Brief also reported on the players with the most assists-per-game ratio for their countries, with Lionel Messi ranking ninth.

Only Neymar in the top 10 has more assists than Messi’s 55 for their national teams. Still, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner’s impressive 183 appearances for his country meant his assist ratio would always be lower.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and