Footballers may lead a privileged life a lot of the time, but there surely also needs to be a lot more done to ensure they’re safe when they’re on the pitch.
Lionel Messi is the latest of many big names to be approached for a selfie by a pitch invader, with this latest incident sounding particularly concerning, according to the Daily Mirror.
A fan got all the way up to Messi after the game between Argentina and Ecuador, and the former Barcelona man urged the supporter to “stop” as he grabbed him around the neck to force the player to have a selfie with him.
Thankfully, on this occasion there wasn’t any further harm done, but it’s surely a wake-up call for the footballing authorities, who need to be working harder to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Clearly, this particular fan was just a bit of an idiot who got a tad aggressive in his attempts to get a picture with Messi, but he didn’t mean the player any harm.
If he had intended to strangle the 34-year-old, though, it’s clear there was little preventing him from doing so.
Messi will be used to fans going crazy for him like this, but it seems clear he was very uncomfortable by how close this particular supporter got, and it’s an issue that needs addressing ahead of the World Cup later this year.