TEL AVIV – Israeli citizens are trying to get soccer ace Lionel Messi to honor a four year-old boy who idolized the Barcelona star and was killed by a missile fired by Hamas, the Russia Today reported on Tuesday.
Earlier, Messi had spoken out about the plight of Palestinian children. Daniel Tregerman became the first Israeli child to die in the conflict on Friday in Nahal Oz. The four year-old was a big fan of the Barcelona forward and there was a picture in the Israeli papers of him wearing Messi’s No 10 Argentina football shirt.
Messi had previously expressed his sympathy for the plight of Palestinian children, writing on his Facebook page on August 7. "Children did not create this conflict, but they are paying the ultimate price. This cycle of senseless violence must stop. We must reflect on the consequences of military conflicts and children must be protected," he wrote.
Now, Israelis have taken to social media with calls to the Argentinean forward who played for his country in this year’s World Cup final in Brazil against Germany, to support the plight of Tregerman, killed in a mortar attack on Friday. "Take a look at that boy, Daniel Tregerman, wearing the national jersey of the best player in the world," wrote Liran Cohen – a resident of Tel Aviv – on his Facebook page.
"As you can see, you were Daniel's hero. He was killed by a mortar which was fired by Hamas," he added. Messi, who is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, has yet to respond to the messages, or whether he will be supporting Daniel Tregerman’s memory.