- Right back Franco Escobar comes from the same hometown as Lionel Messi
- And he hopes to score the star’s shirt on Wednesday after the match
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Houston Dynamo defender Franco Escobar clearly idolizes Lionel Messi, although it remains to be seen whether the compatriots will face each other in the US Open Cup final.
Hailing from Rosario, Argentina, like Messi, Escobar also followed in the striker’s footsteps at Newell’s Old Boys as a youth player – and got a huge tattoo of the Argentine star after La Albiceleste’s World Cup win last December.
The ultra-detailed ink shows Messi kissing the World Cup trophy, also featuring three stars (for the country’s three World Cup victories).
Ahead of the Open Cup final between Houston and Inter Miami on Wednesday, Escobar spoke about the reason for his tattoo.
Franco Escobar has a huge tattoo of Lionel Messi kissing the World Cup trophy
Escobar (2) controls the ball as Inter Miami CF midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro defends
“He just instills a lot of pride in being Argentinian and gives a lot of hope to the country,” Escobar said. KHO 11. “And you know, (Messi) gives me a lot of hope.”
Escobar told the press that it took four hours for the artwork to be completed, and that he has been in contact with some Miami coaches about possibly receiving Messi’s shirt after the match.
The 28-year-old praised Messi after helping to make Argentina’s first World Cup since 1986.
“Football was owed to you and it was given to you THANK YOU SO MUCH,” he wrote on Instagram after France were defeated in the final.
However, Escobar may not get the chance to play against his hero.
Messi is currently dealing with a muscle problem and did not train with the rest of his Inter Miami teammates on Tuesday.
Lionel Messi will reportedly not start for Inter Miami in the US Open Cup final
Messi was instead seen on the phone in normal clothes at Inter’s DRV PNK Stadium base
He was substituted in the 37th minute last week after Miami’s 4-0 win over Toronto FC and did not play against Orlando City on Sunday.
TyC Sports (via MLS Moves) has reported that Messi will be a substitute at most as he tries to win his second trophy with Miami.
He previously led the club to silver in the Leagues Cup.