Qatar World Cup: Socceroo Cameron Devlin, Lionel Messi shirt swap after Argenina vs Australia game

Socceroos star Cameron Devlin has scored perhaps the biggest goal of Australia’s World Cup campaign despite never seeing any on-field action in Qatar.

The defensive midfielder popped up behind the scenes at the right place and the right time in the bowels of Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium to acquire Argentine legend Lionel Messi’s playing shirt.

The 24-year-old is leaving Qatar with a souvenir to match Mitch Duke and Harry Souttar’s man of the match awards.

While some Socceroos players have been criticised online for being “fanboys” when posing for photos with Messi after the match, Devlin is widely being praised for the brazenness of his hit and run mission.

Devlin also handed over his own shirt to Messi. Its whereabouts are unknown.

The shirt is all the more momentous given it was Messi’s 1000th game for club and country and was also the first time he has ever scored in the knockout stages at the World Cup.

Popular social media publisher SPORTbible earlier posted vision of Australian players Keanu Baccus, Joel King and Marco Tilio asking Messi to pose for photos after the match.

They then appeared thrilled as they looked at the images on their mobile phones.

All three players, as well as Australia’s goal scorer Craig Goodwin, posted pictures of themselves with Messi to their Instagram accounts in the wake of the Socceroos’ exit from the tournament.

“To be apart of something so special and to have learnt so much. To then meeting my idol growing up and the best player in the world. I’m so grateful and feel blessed,” Tilio wrote.

Of the four players, Goodwin is the only really established member of the Socceroos squad.

Baccus made his first international start in the 2-1 defeat against Argentina and King and Tilio didn’t play.

Injured star Martin Boyle also popped up in a photo with the little master.

But that didn’t stop some fans taking aim at their post-game attitude.

“They should be suspended from the national team,” one wrote.

“I think a lot of people would be upset still at leaving the World Cup to worry about a selfie with Messi,” wrote another.

But there were plenty of others ready to defend the players for recording a precious memory.

“It’s not every day you see a goat or play with him,” one wrote. “Those players one day will show these pictures to their grandchildren and tell them I played against the Goat.”

“Anyone in their situation would do exactly the same and you’re lying if you say otherwise!” wrote another.

“Arguably the greatest player to ever walk the planet and they’ve had the fortune to play on the same pitch with him at a World Cup. Literally nothing to see here,” added a third.

You could hardly fault the players’ intent on the pitch either.

Goodwin scored — and Baccus certainly made no attempt to get in Messi’s good books when he bowled him over in the early stages of the match.

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