Santiago Alberione had the best moment of his life on Thursday when he bumped into Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi as he walked down the street in Castelldefels, the area where the legendary Argentinean lives.
Messi, who was invited to accept Catalonia's highest honorary award on that day itself, was seemingly in a good mood and posed for a photo with Santiago before signing a Barcelona jersey for him. Santiago was so starstruck that he posted this photo on to social media followed by an emotional letter which went viral.
As revealed by Marca, Santiago stated the following in his letter as he began, "An unforgettable day for someone who believes in an athlete. If you are anti-Messi, I hope you aren't even reading this. Today I fulfilled one of my greatest dreams, I met Lionel Andres Messi. I had the luck to take a photo with him and take a gift home which will be the most symbolic and historic that I could have related to sport."
He further stated, "The long-awaited moment came in Castelldefels around 09:00. I see this short guy with his weird shorts crossing the road and coming over to where I was, my heart went to eight beats a second, my throat went dry and the voice went weird when I told myself - here comes the flea, yes, it's Messi!!!!!! Next thing I ask with a lot of respect if I can take a photo with him, apologising for invading his privacy."
Revealing Messi's reaction, Santiago continued, "With a smile on his face he accepted and said not to worry, that I wasn't annoying him. Then he signed my shirt and asked if I was from Cordoba. I responded with another question, asking if it was so obvious that he noticed, with a smile and glassy eyes. With a sublime and humble laugh he said yes."
Talking about how his chance meeting with his hero ended, Santiago stated, "Then I thanked him again and repeated my apologies for annoying him, with a smile he said 'Don't worry, look after yourself' and gave me a hug and a handshake and he went home. They were approximately 60 seconds, but it felt like an eternity."
Finally, expressing what he felt after the moment, the young fan claimed, "Obviously afterwards I cried with emotion, I met the best player of all time (according to my criteria, to avoid debate). Today I fulfilled the dream of mine that few will understand as today I met Messi and today I am the happiest guy in the universe. I love you, thank you for being Argentine."