Controversy erupts as Chinese internet celebrity cuts alleged Messi autographed jersey, exposed as fake

Gao Yu Tian.

11th February 2024 – (Beijing) Argentina’s football legend Lionel Messi recently visited Hong Kong for an exhibition match, drawing a large crowd of enthusiastic fans. However, to the disappointment of many, Messi remained seated on the bench throughout the entire game, never stepping onto the field. This unexpected turn of events led to widespread disappointment among the spectators, who voiced their frustration by chanting “refund” at the venue. The incident continues to generate controversy. Adding fuel to the fire, a mainland Chinese internet celebrity took matters into his own hands and recorded a video in which he cut up a jersey purportedly signed by Messi himself. However, astute internet users soon discovered that the jersey was a fake, exposing the social media influencer’s attempt to gain attention through deceptive means, ultimately resulting in embarrassment for himself.

In a video recorded by an individual named Gao Yu Tian, he is seen holding a pair of scissors in one hand and a jersey claimed to bear Messi’s autograph in the other. He confidently asserts, “This is the jersey personally signed by Messi right in front of me.” In the top right corner of the video, he displays a moment of interaction between himself and Messi as further evidence of his claim. Without hesitation, he proceeds to ruthlessly cut the jersey with the scissors, even tearing it apart by hand, intending to completely destroy it. He concludes his actions with a provocative statement: “Remember, those who love others will be loved, and those who respect others will be respected.” This statement was clearly intended as a mockery of Messi.

However, attentive internet users quickly noticed discrepancies between the so-called autographed jersey and the image of the jersey during Gao Yu Tian’s interaction with Messi. They pointed out several significant differences, such as the positioning of the number 10, suggesting that the jersey was a counterfeit. These observations led to accusations that Gao Yu Tian had engaged in deceptive practices to generate online traffic and create controversy, further exacerbating the dislike towards his actions. Subsequently, the video was found to have been deleted, prompting commenters to express their disdain, with remarks such as “At least buy an authentic jersey before cutting it” and “No shame in seeking attention for the sake of popularity.”