- Mamelodi Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse says he did not plan to ask Lionel Messi to swap shirts
- The defender swooped in on Messi shortly after the final whistle on Wednesday night to secure the most prized football shirt in South Africa
- Arendse says Messi was the closest player to him when the final whistle blew and he initially just went to shake hands
Mamelodi Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse says he did not plan to ask Barcelona FC superstar Lionel Messi to swap shirts and got the coveted number 10 shirt by pure chance.
Arendse said Messi happened to be the closest player to him when the final whistle blew on Wednesday night and he initially walked over to shake hands with Messi.
He said: "No, not at all ... wasn’t it planned, I just went over to shake hands." He added with a smile: "I thought to myself, I might as well just ask him for his jersey. That's when Messi replied, 'Well done, no, sure'."
Briefly.co.za earlier reported that Arendse swooped in on Messi shortly after the end of the game. The video evidence made it look like the defender hustled Messi into swapping shirts with him. Arendse was later seen with a bulge in his jacket pocket which could only have been the number 10 shirt.
Arendse told KickOff.co.za that it was an honour and an amazing feeling to be on the same field and rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in world football.
He said: "It was a joyful and exciting experience for me as a player you know. I never really felt intimidated by the superstars on the pitch. We are also champions and we can hold our own.”
The PSL champions have already switched their focus to the CAF Champions League. Sundowns will travel to Guinee to face Horoya AC on Tuesday.
Arendse said the entire team had already refocused its attention on defending its CAF Champions League title. He said: “We know what's expected and we can top it off with a good performance to progress in the Champions League."
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