Socceroo who didn’t play a minute lands priceless Messi souvenir

Socceroos midfielder Cameron Devlin flies home with one of the World Cup’s most prized mementos after swapping shirts with Argentina star Lionel Messi, despite not seeing a minute of playing time during the tournament.

Devlin was one of six unused substitutes during Australia’s campaign, but he was poised to get his hands on a priceless souvenir after Messi captained Argentina’s 2-1 defeat of the Socceroos.

Messi was named player of the match after scoring in the first half, after which Devlin approached the all-time great with a fresh clean Socceroos jersey to swap for his Argentina strip.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner duly obliged. Devlin’s memento is all the more special considering that the last 16 clash was Messi’s 1,000th professional appearance in one of the greatest club and international careers the game has ever seen.

Several Australian teammates, including Marco Tilio, Keanu Baccus and Jason Cummings, also took selfies with the 35-year-old after full-time.

Argentina take on the Netherlands in a tantalizing quarter-final on Saturday morning (6am, AEDT), renewing a World Cup rivalry that culminated in the 1978 final, a 3-1 Argentine win on home soil over the Dutchman.

Devlin, who made his international debut against New Zealand in September, will return to Australia before linking up again with the Scottish Hearts.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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