There has been a long tradition of footballers exchanging shirts after a game as a gesture of sportsmanship, friendship, and mutual respect.
Kylian Mbappe, the star striker who plies his trade for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and France, raised eyebrows after he asked to swap jerseys with young footballer Pedro González López, commonly known as Pedri – and not Lionel Messi – following PSG’s 5-2 Champions League triumph over Barcelona on Wednesday.
Mbappe approached 18-year-old Pedri after the final whistle – the Spaniard played 78 minutes for Barcelona before he was replaced by Miralem Pjanic – and they exchanged kits. Does this mean Mbappe rates the youngster over the legendary Argentine forward Messi, whose star may be starting to fade as he enters the twilight of his career?
— AZR Organization (@AzrOrganization) March 11, 2021
Players from opposing teams often swap jerseys to keep as souvenirs to commemorate their playing careers.