Messi donates signed shirt to Telegraph's Paul Hayward

Messi donates signed shirt to Telegraph's Paul Hayward

Do you remember the Barcelona versus Bayern Munich semi final Champions League match way back last May? Well, many will do for one reason – Messi had no mercy for Jerome Boateng as he sent the tall defender falling over his back side and left with legs flapping in the air for his second goal.

Messi donates signed shirt to Telegraph's Paul Hayward

Messi's uplifting gesture to Howard

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After this superb goal, Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler said:  “Only football can make you feel like this.”

Telegraph journalist Paul Hayward wrote on his cancer experience and how sport can keep people connected to life.

He said the Messi magic on the pitch gave him the 'sharpest ray of light' while battling to beat cancer and made him strong enough to feel like rising from his chair. He went on to say that at this moment, "illness fell away."

Messi sent a signed shirt to Paul Hayward after the player read the touching story.

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Hayward after being sent a signed shirt by Messi wrote a further article on Tuesday for the  ​Telegraph saying, " No sensible journalist thinks a megastar will read a column he or she writes, even one on life and death.

"So when word reached me that Lionel Messi’s family were aware of a piece in which I had referenced his genius goal against Bayern Munich, I assumed that was the end of it.  A few months later, something special was delivered to me. It was a Barcelona shirt, inscribed with a personal message from Messi, together with a letter of encouragement.

"Professional duty dictates that reporters try not to be dazzled by celebrity, but I confess to feeling overwhelmed, and not just because Messi is the footballer whose talent I most admire."

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The Argentine and his Barcelona team went on to win the Champions League that year after defeating Bayern in the semi-final and then Juventus in the final.

Messi scored 58 times that season and went on to win the Ballon D'Or.

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