Messi is the main event - but 'Bhoys' turn up in their droves, as always
Published 01/08/2016 | 02:30
The 'Bhoys' were back in town - and yet, a blonde-haired maverick proved to be the main event in front of an almost packed-out Aviva Stadium.
Up until last week, we had all but given up hope that the greatest player to ever kick a football would turn up in Dublin.
He was, after all, enjoying an extended summer break.
But lo and behold, arriving at Dublin's Marker Hotel on Friday night, his biting sidekick Luis Suarez in tow, was Lionel Messi himself.
Thousands of supporters stood outside the team hotel for hours on end, waiting to get an elusive signature or, even better, a selfie.
Some of them were lucky enough, with the stars posing for photos - and even the staff got in on the act.
Others were back again post-match on Saturday night, refusing to believe the doorman who informed them that Barcelona were flying home that night.
And let's not forget the Celtic supporters too, who always travel in their droves, no matter that their team were beaten 3-1.
Anto Brennan and Alan Sherry, from Cabra, have followed Celtic around the world, while Lucas Sargeant (6) only had eyes for Barcelona. But it wasn't Messi on his mind, it was the absent Neymar.
"We've been everywhere - Amsterdam, Barcelona a couple of times, supporting Celtic," Alan said.
Meanwhile, Larry Hickey (6), from Clondalkin, got a bit of a shock on Saturday morning when he found a couple of hidden tickets.
"He didn't know until this morning - he's never seen Barca before," his father, Ger, said.