Messi mistakes Argentina teammate for fan in embarrassing photo fail
Argentina star Lionel Messi appeared to suffer an embarrassing photo fail in Russia this week, mistaking international teammate Sebastian Driussi for a fan when posing for a picture with him.
The Argentina duo, who are in Moscow preparing for Saturday’s match against Russia at the newly-renovated Luzhniki stadium, were involved in the awkward mishap at the team’s hotel in the Russian capital.
Driussi, who plays his club football for Russian team Zenit St. Petersburg, asked the Barcelona superstar for a picture together in the hotel lobby.
As Driussi was decked out in a baseball cap and leather jacket, rather than the national team training attire, his Argentina teammate failed to recognize him.
The photo posted by Driussi to his Instagram account shows Messi in what could be described as the default pose for football stars when having their photo taken with fans. The 21-year-old Driussi captioned the pic: “Thanks for the photo, idol.”
Messi later sent a text message to apologize to his teammate for the misunderstanding, Argentinian sports channel TyCSports reports.
In addition to Driussi’s baseball cap and casual clothing, Messi could also be forgiven for not recognizing his teammate as the young striker is far from being a familiar face in the Argentina set-up, having yet to make his senior debut.
Driussi joined Russian team Zenit St. Petersburg from boyhood club River Plate in his homeland in July, and has bagged three goals in 22 game for the Russian club.
Messi, 30, is a talisman for both club and country, and has scored 61 times in 122 appearances for La Albiceleste and has found the net an incredible 523 times in 600 games for Barca.
As well as his training duties, Messi’s time in Russia this week has also been spent doing promotional work for sponsor Adidas, including at the unveiling of the official World Cup match ball in Moscow on Thursday.
Messi’s recent hat-trick against Ecuador in the final South American group stage game booked his team’s place in next year’s World Cup Finals in Russia, which will be the megastar’s fourth appearance at a World Cup.
He will lead his team out on Saturday for the friendly against Russia at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, where a crowd of around 75,000 is expected. It will be the first game at the arena since a $450 million renovation was completed. The stadium will host several games at next year’s World Cup, including the opening game and final.