Soccer Fan Stops Game To Praise Player On Field (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Lionel Messi and Michael SotoLionel Messi and Michael Soto

A soccer fan ran out on the field during a match between the United States and Argentina at the Copa America Semifinals on June 21 at the NRG stadium in Houston (video below).

According to, Lionel Messi, who plays for Argentina, set a scoring record only moments before the fan dropped to his knees and bowed before the player.

The Latin Times identifies the fan as Michael Soto who tweeted his plans earlier in the game:

"The nerves are hitting me but I have to pull through."

"It’s a lot harder than I expected."

The 28-year-old Messi gave Soto a hug, and signed his Argentina jersey.

Soto later tweeted: "When you meet the God of football."

The Houston Chronicle notes that Soto took off his shirt, promoted his Twitter username and ran around the stadium.

He was finally caught by security and arrested.

The crazy moment with Messi was rebroadcast by ESPN's Sports Center, and Adidas wasted no time in using incident footage in an ad.

Soto posted a picture of himself on Twitter on June 22 leaving the Houston Police Department Central Jail with his signed jersey and the caption, "Finally out!!! #worthit."

Soto also said that he was banned from the stadium.

The Houston Chronicle notes that some other fans tried the same stunt after the game was over, but were blocked by security guards and removed from the stadium without receiving an autograph or embrace from Messi.

Messi, who broke Gabriel Batistuta’s international goal record of 54, said, "I am happy to have surpassed Batistuta’s record and I want to thank my teammates, it’s theirs as well."

Additionally, Messi holds the Guinness World Record with 91 goals in a calendar year and the all-time scoring record, 427 as of January 2016, for the Barcelona team.

Argentina defeated the U.S. 4-0, and will play the winner of Chile and Colombia on June 26 in the championship match in New Jersey.

Sources:, Latin Times, Houston Chronicle / Photo credit: SanVic/YouTube

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