The six-time world footballer Lionel Messi from FC Barcelona paid homage to his Argentine idol Diego Armando Maradona, who died last Wednesday, with a special celebration on Sunday (you can see the scene in the video here). It imposed a fine for this.
The 33-year-old Messi lifted his Barca shirt after scoring a spectacular 4-0 win against CA Osasuna. Among them was the red and black dress with the number 10 of his home club Newell’s Old Boys from Rosario. “Dieguito” played five games for this team in 1993.
However, the Spanish federation is punishing actions such as Messi’s with a fine of 3,000 euros for violating Article 91 of the Disciplinary Code. Messi also saw the yellow card for his shirt gesture.
“That was a great moment,” said Barca coach Ronald Koeman afterwards: “Leo’s goal, his gesture dedicated to Maradona. We Europeans cannot imagine the importance of Maradona in Argentina.”
Messi then posted Instagram a photo of his jubilee pose in Newell’s jersey next to a photo of Maradona – also with raised hands – in the dress of the Rosario club from 1993. Messi wrote “Hasta siempre, Diego” (Farewell, Diego).
The flags at the Estadio Campo Nou were set at half mast. Before the kick-off, the song “Gesang der Vögel” by the famous Catalan cellist Pablo Casals was played, while the players from both teams formed a minute’s silence around the center circle, where a Maradona jersey was spread out.