When Lionel Messi recorded a video for 100-year-old fan who documented his every goal
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Lionel Messi sent a heartwarming video message to a 100-year-old Argentina fan who logged his every goal with a pencil and paper.
In a world where stats are available at the touch of a button, Don Hernan tracked each of Messi's goals the old fashioned way, writing down the name of the opposition, the date and the number of goals on a sheet of paper.
In total he recorded more than 700 goals scored by the former Barcelona forward over the years and as a result, he become a TikTok sensation in his country last year thanks to grandson, Julian Mastrangelo.
Hernan made sure to write down every goal that Messi scored and if he didn't watch a match, he'd call Julian to make sure he didn't miss any.
After hearing about Hernan's dedication to recording his every goal, the man himself sent a wonderful video message after last year's Copa America win.
"Hello Hernan. Your story reached me, Messi said.
"It seems crazy to me that you have been recording my goals and in that way, and that is why I wanted to send you a big hug and thank you for what you do, for all your follow-up work."
Julian soon gathered his family to around the table at Hernan's home in Carapachay, a town on the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires, and played the brilliant Messi message.
After watching the video, a teary eyed Don said, "I always followed you and I will follow you. Until the end, I will walk behind you."
Last month, in the weeks before Argentina's famous World Cup win at the Lusail Stadium, Julian paid tribute to his late grandfather in an Instagram post.
"The World Cup started and here we are ready to continue scoring Leo's goals," he wrote.
"It will be a rare championship, the first in history that my grandfather will see from heaven and support @leomessi as he always did.
"I hope I can fill these sheets as they both deserve. Encourage from above that here we are, grandpa."
When Reuters interviewed Hernan last year, he said: "I wanted to have scored all the goals that Messi did. I followed him and always kept following him."
He would have been bursting with pride at the efforts of Lionel Messi and co, who lifted the World Cup on Sunday after beating then-reignings champions France on penalties.
"CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!!!!!!!" Messi wrote on Instagram after the final. So many times I dreamed it, so much I wanted it that I still don't fall, I can't believe it.
"Thank you so much to my family, to all who support me and also to all who believed in us. We prove once again that Argentinians when we fight together and united we are able to achieve what we aim.
"The merit is of this group, which is above individuals, is the strength of all fighting for the same dream that was also the one of all Argentinians... We did it!!!
"LET'S GO ARGENTINA DAMN!!!!! We're seeing you very soon."
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/julireview
Topics: Lionel Messi, Argentina, Football World Cup