Mackenzie, 11, said he didn’t expect something to come in return of his meeting with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

The 11-year-old goalkeeper who met Lionel Messi whereas on vacation in Antigua has found fame on Instagram after the encounter.


Mackenzie O’Neill, from Kent, met the Barcelona legend whereas on vacation along with his mother Anna, who recorded her son kicking a ball around with Messi and his son Thiago.


“I thought that an image and a 15-second video would mean nothing,” Mackenzie told PA. “I used to have 85 followers and currently I’ve got over 3,500.


“It’s quite wonderful however also a bit like, ‘give me a break!’ sometimes.”


Highlights of Mackenzie’s time with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner embody an attempted nutmeg, that Messi “tapped away” and a save against La Liga’s incomparable top goal scorer, of which Mackenzie said: “I had to dive and I tipped it to the corner of the pitch.”


“It’s something he’ll confine his heart forever, and he deserves it in addition,” Ms O’Neill, who was unaware of Messi’s celebrity at the start, told PA.


“I detected him kicking a ball about and I simply saw him with Messi, a couple of other children and his young son, and I thought ‘this is unbelievable,’ thus I had to take a video.
“I didn’t realize how large it would become. I simply took it for Mackenzie to treasure for the rest of his life.”