A Scot­tish trib­ute to Messi

It’s of­fi­cial: Cris­tiano won’t be end­ing his ca­reer with In­ver­ness Cale­do­nian This­tle

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Dur­ing the long ca­reer of Lionel Messi, many in­cred­i­ble things have been pro­duced in his hon­our – mas­sive art­works in Barcelona, the touch­ing plas­tic bag strip worn by a child in Afghanistan, and that statue in Ar­gentina that peo­ple keep de­cap­i­tat­ing. But surely none will mean as much to him as the furry green crea­ture re­cently un­veiled at In­ver­ness Cale­do­nian This­tle.

When the Scot­tish sec­ond-tier club were com­ing up with a new mas­cot, they felt it needed an imag­i­na­tive name. Pre­sum­ably con­sid­er­ing but dis­miss­ing other al­ter­na­tives such as Thistliano Ron­aldo, they opted for a Loch Ness mon­ster named af­ter an­other five-time Bal­lon d’or win­ner.

“Messi is one of the best play­ers ever to have played,” ex­plained club chair­man Gra­ham Rae. “Messi rhymes with Nessie, so we have the splen­did com­bi­na­tion of Lionel Nessi.” Thanks for clar­i­fy­ing, Gra­ham, we’d have strug­gled to fig­ure it out other­wise...

Lionel Nessi was re­vealed at one of world foot­ball’s most pres­ti­gious games: the Irn-bru Scot­tish Chal­lenge Cup fi­nal against Dum­b­ar­ton, which In­ver­ness promptly went and won thanks to Carl Tre­marco’s 93rd-minute tap-in. Lionel Nessi 1 Thistliano Ron­aldo 0.

No doubt a seething CR7 got straight on the phone in an at­tempt to put things right.

“Hello, is that Partick This­tle? It’s Cris­tiano Ron­aldo. I’ve got an idea for a mas­cot...”

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