JJ Watt and Lionel Messi have broken the internet — all over an Instagram photo of the two meeting. Messi, an Argentinian footballer who plays soccer for the Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team, was in Texas this week training with the Argentina team and caught up with Watt for an impromptu selfie on the field. Watt, an athlete in his own right, plays for the Houston Texans.
Lionel Messi and his team played Bolivia at the BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday night, reports the Daily Mail, and were in Texas training for their next match. The Daily Mail adds that Lionel will face Mexico at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Wednesday.
The two men were obviously happy to meet, and Watt and Messi took the obligatory selfie, which JJ then shared with fans over Instagram. Calling Lionel the “best football player on the planet,” Watt was clearly in awe of Messi, who is an international star in is own right. Fans worldwide blew up over Watt using the international term “football” instead of soccer.
JJ Watt is also an athlete at the top of his game and has played for the Texans since being a first round pick in the 2011 NFL draft, according to the Daily Mail.
The impromptu snap, which pictures Lionel and Watt smiling after a training session as Watt towers over Messi with his imposing six-foot-five frame, broke the internet this week after fans giggled over the fact that Messi barely reaches the football player’s shoulders. The two athletes look relaxed in the photo; Lionel wears his uniform and Watt wears casual street clothes.
Messi walked away with his own prize — a special game jersey from JJ Watt, who is the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, according to the Mirror. Not to be outdone, Sergio Aguero, who plays for Argentina with Lionel, also took the opportunity to pose for a photo with Watt.
After the game with Bolivia, Argentina coach Gerardo Martino caught some flack for started Messi only halfway through the game.
The coach assured fans it was in the best interest of the footballer, telling the Daily Mail, “It is logical that the people who pay for tickets and the organisers of the games want to see Messi playing. But we had to think carefully about him because he has played a lot of games. Luckily, in a short time, [Lionel] made it worth the price of admission.”
Looking good, JJ Watt and Lionel Messi!
[Image credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images]