An employee at DRV PNK Stadium (Drive Pink Stadium) was reportedly fired on the spot after getting an autograph from FC Miami’s Lionel Messi.
Leo is the most famous athlete on Earth. He is arguably the greatest soccer player to ever lace up a pair of boots. It’s hard to fault this man for asking to get Lionel Messi’s autograph, but the circumstances are suspect.
According to Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Cristian Salamanca was employed at a company contracted to clean the stadium. The reason given for his firing is he was meant to be working, not getting autographs.
The report says he was working near where the players/teams arrive to the stadium. Underneath his cleaner’s uniform he was wearing an Argentinian National Team shirt, which is suspect because the man is reportedly Colombian and those two teams are historical rivals in South America.
Salamanca told La Nacion that Lionel Messi was the last person off Inter Miami bus after it arrived. He saw Messi and pulled up his uniform to reveal his Argentina shirt underneath and presented Messi with a marker.
He said “He gave me his autograph. Security came right away, they took me out and fired me from my job, but it was worth every second!”
The report claims that anyone working at the stadium, whether an Inter Miami employee or an outside contractor, is expressly prohibited from asking Lionel Messi for autographs.
It’s unclear exactly how much Lionel Messi’s autograph is worth in this instance. His autographed jerseys can be found selling online for thousands of dollars.
But those are authenticated autographs and the jerseys are often of some importance. In this instance, it seems the memory of meeting Lionel Messi is worth more to the man than Messi’s autograph, and worth more than losing his job.
Messi is absolutely locked in. This is insane pic.twitter.com/NTuzRmtdZ6
— MC (@CrewsMat10) August 3, 2023
Inter Miami and Lionel Messi made easy work of Orlando City in the match, winning 3-1. Messi scoring (again) has led to conspiracy theories on why Leo keeps doing Marvel-themed celebrations after scoring.
Messi’s short time in the MLS (so far) has been positively electric:
Script writers would’ve crafted it up exactly like that!