Pedro Santos has faced much criticism on social media for what some fans call “embarrassing” behavior after he asked for Lionel Messi’s shirt following an MLS game. The incident occurred during a rain-soaked match at Chase Stadium in Florida, where Santos, a defender for D.C. United, found himself up against Messi, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner. The game was closely contested, but Inter Miami emerged victorious with a 1-0 win, thanks to a late goal from Leonardo Campana, who scored deep into stoppage time.

As is often the case with Messi, the final whistle saw several players eager to swap shirts with the football legend. Pedro Santos managed to secure Messi’s jersey, receiving it in the tunnel after the match. While Santos was thrilled to have such a valuable memento, his actions sparked a wave of criticism from fans worldwide. Many questioned the appropriateness of seeking a shirt swap immediately after a loss, suggesting it reflected poorly on the player’s competitive spirit.

One fan on X (formerly Twitter), @musaseka17, voiced strong disapproval, calling the act “embarrassing” and noting that Messi didn’t even ask for Santos’s jersey. This sentiment was echoed by another user, @superpete13, who argued that if opposing players treated Messi with less reverence, Inter Miami might not win as many games. The implication was that such admiration from opponents could be seen as undermining their competitive edge.

However, not everyone shares this negative view. Some defended Santos’s actions, pointing out the unique opportunity presented by playing against Messi. @Tim_Chase7, another Twitter user, acknowledged that while it might seem shameless, the chance to obtain the jersey of arguably the greatest player of all time is a rare and valuable experience, especially for mid-level players. This perspective was further supported by a fan who highlighted that shirt swapping is a long-standing tradition in football. They argued that meeting and swapping shirts with Messi, the greatest player in football history, is an honor that transcends the outcome of any match.

Despite the mixed reactions, Messi remains the star attraction in MLS, and his presence continues to draw significant attention. He frequently obliges requests for shirt swaps, understanding the excitement and honor it represents for his opponents. As Messi and Inter Miami prepare for their next match in Vancouver, it’s expected that the demand for his shirt will persist, with many players eager to secure their piece of football history. This ongoing interest underscores Messi’s iconic status and the widespread admiration he commands across the football world.

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