For the most part, Leo Messi's quick trip to the United States earlier this month thrilled spectators at Soldier Field in Chicago and across the globe.
But one group of supporters came away more than a little disheartened. That's because they paid $2,500 for a pre-match meet-and-greet with Messi, where the Barcelona superstar was supposed to take pictures and present signed memorabilia. But as it turned out, Messi never showed up to the Chicago event.
Among the group of spurned supporters were Tony Sherwood and his 9-year-old son, Hudson. Young Hudson has six Messi jerseys, so one can only imagine how saddened he was to get stood up by his idol. On the way home from the game, Hudson had a heartbreaking message for his father.
“Dad, next time I get a jersey, I don’t want it to be Messi," Hudson said, as his father recounted to For The Win.
Tony told For The Win that a Spanish publicist, author and musician named Risto Mejide reached out to him after reading the story. Through a connection, Mejide got in touch with Messi and had him send a personalized jersey to Hudson. It read: "Para Hudson de tu amigo. Leo" ("For Hudson from your friend. Leo"). The Sherwoods received the package this week.
“Although Hudson didn’t get to meet him, I am grateful that they did something nice for Hudson,” Tony told For The Win. "It made my wife cry … although not very hard."
Hudson is currently away at summer camp, and so he's unaware of the gift he has waiting for him when he returns home.