A Colombian man who cleans bathrooms at Inter Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium has revealed he has been fired for asking Lionel Messi for his signature.
The incident reportedly took place on Wednesday, August 2, at Inter Miami’s Fort Lauderdale home. That night, the MLS club faced Orlando City in the last 32 of the Leagues Cup.
Cristian Salamanca worked for a company that is contracted to clean venues for various sports and music events.
Salamanca claims he was stationed near where the teams arrived at the stadium. Underneath his uniform, he was wearing an Argentina jersey and when Inter Miami pulled in, Salamanca spotted his chance.
‘I had to clean the bathrooms in the sector where the buses park. Fortunately, I was out there when the bus arrived and all the players got out. The last one was Messi,’ he told Argentine newspaper La Nacion.
‘(I) yelled at him: ‘Hey, world champion!” He turned to look. I lifted up my uniform shirt and I had down the shirt of the Argentine team and a marker.
‘He gave me his autograph. Security came right away, they took me out and fired me from my job, but it was worth every second!’
According to the report, every member of staff at DRV PNK Stadium – whether employed by the club or an outside company is warned that they must remain professional and cannot hassle Messi for photographs or autographs.
After Salamanca was fired, he had to inform his wife, who was working inside the stadium so she could collect his belongings.