Controversy may be surrounding Barcelona star Lionel Messi at the moment, but the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has seemingly left a lasting impression all around the world. The latest in the line of Lionel Messi's admirers is a man who is regarded as being among the best receivers in the current crop of the NFL. Earlier this week, Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins revealed that Lionel Messi was the reason he wears a No. 10 jersey with the Houston Texans.
Speaking to the official website of Major League Soccer (MLS), DeAndre Hopkins said that the Hopkins No 10 jersey was an ode to the exploits of Lionel Messi. "Lionel Messi is obviously considered one of the greatest ever," DeAndre Hopkins was quoted as saying. "He’s short, you know, not the tallest. I feel like he’s got that underdog mentality.” DeAndre Hopkins continued by saying that while he wasn't the tallest, biggest or fastest player in the NFL, the underdog mentality exhibited by Lionel Messi is what prompts him to be at his best in every game.
Elsewhere, there have been rumours of Lionel Messi angling for an exit from Barcelona this week. The club was embroiled in some controversy when Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal revealed that it was player power that forced Ernesto Valverde out of the club earlier last year. Lionel Messi, in turn, took to social media to challenge the sporting director to name-call the players accused of pushing Ernesto Valverde out. This unrest in the Barcelona camp has prompted clubs from Europe's top five leagues to monitor Lionel Messi's situation at Barcelona in the coming weeks.