SportsLionel Messi swaps signed jersey for 'Time' magazine with Ukrainian general Zaluzhny

Lionel Messi swaps signed jersey for 'Time' magazine with Ukrainian general Zaluzhny

Valeriy Zaluzhny and Lionel Messi
Valeriy Zaluzhny and Lionel Messi
Images source: © Getty Images | Aleksiej Furman, Rich Storry
9:52 AM EST, December 24, 2023

Lionel Messi and the Ukrainian military commander connected through two intermediaries. The first was footballer Serhiy Kryvtsov, Messi's teammate at Inter Miami. The second, Yuriy Sapronov, is a Ukrainian philanthropist.

Yuriy Sapronov utilized his relationship with the Inter Miami player to gain access to the American team's training. Once there, Lionel Messi was pleased to accommodate Sapronov's request and passed a signed jersey to military commander Zaluzhny.

While I was in Miami, I often attended Inter matches. Thanks to Serhiy Kryvtsov, I was able to witness the training sessions. Lionel Messi signed the jersey with respect, shares Yuriy Sapronov, as quoted on sport.24tv.ua website.
I delivered the gift personally. It was an honor to meet and engage in conversation with the general; a real human general. I would love to have such encounters more often if it weren't for my desire not to overstep his hospitality. After we win the war, I'll be able to proudly display our joint photos. The last time I visited the general, I noticed the 2024 armed forces plan conspicuously displayed, adds Sapronov.

Valeriy Zaluzhny has held the position of commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces since 2021. He holds the responsibility for the military's strategic plans in the conflict with Russia. The general's image was displayed on the cover of a "Time" magazine issue, which Zaluzhny signed and gifted to Messi.

Gifts given by Lionel Messi and Valery Zaluzhny.
Gifts given by Lionel Messi and Valery Zaluzhny.© Facebook
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