Before the game, the Curacao players requested that Lionel Messi give each of them a shirt, and even mentioned they would fight over it if only one was available.
A match-worn Messi shirt is considered to be the ultimate football souvenir, and it was ultimately given to goalkeeper Eloy Room.
Eloy Room, el arquero de Curazao que se quedó con la camiseta de Messi: “Los SUEÑOS se hacen REALIDAD”
— TyC Sports (@TyCSports) March 29, 2023
Despite conceding seven goals, including three from arguably one of the greatest football players of all time, Room felt like a winner after swapping shirts with the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.
He even posted a picture of the 57th career hat-trick top, expressing that his dreams had come true. In addition, Room shared two pictures of himself trading shirts with Messi after the game.
Afterwards, the 34-year-old said he would be sleeping with Messi’s shirt so that no teammate tried to snatch it away from him and joked his saves to deny the former Barcelona star will look good on YouTube.
“The jersey of Messi, it’s really special,” he told TyC Sports.
“It’s unbelievable, a dream come true. Everybody is a fan of Messi. Now I’ve played against him.”
“It was a tough game, he scored some goals against me but I also saved some good shouts from him. After that he told me that, too – that I made some good saves – so that means a lot to me.”
Although Eloy Room suffered the heaviest defeat of his international career, he will always remember his 43rd cap for Curacao, especially after receiving Lionel Messi’s match-worn shirt as a souvenir.