, Beijing, November 11 (Reporter Xing Rui) The FIFA U16 Men's World Cup is being held in Indonesia. On Tuesday local time, in the match between Argentina and Japan, Argentine player Valentino Acuña scored a goal for the team to help the "Pampas Eagles" win 17:3.

Image source: FIFA World Cup official social media

Before that, the 17-year-old had another special experience: in 2014, he played the action double of the childhood Messi in the documentary "Messi".

That year, Acuña was only 8 years old. According to foreign media reports, because of his excellent left-footed skills and dribbling ability like Messi, he was spotted by the director at a glance. "That's the other Messi we're looking for." So said documentary filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia after watching a series of videos from Acuña.

When Acuña learned that he could become a substitute for Messi, he did not hesitate. He has been involved in football since he was 3 years old and has always regarded Messi as an idol.

Acuña's dad once shared Acuña's fanaticism for Messi in an interview: "His only idol is Leo Messi. He has watched a lot of football games, but the one he identifies with the most is Messi. ”

As an action stand-in, Acuña did not show his face in the documentary, but the shots of the young "Messi" on the pitch such as dribbling and shooting were all completed by Acuña.

The shooting took place over two days. On the first day at Grandoli, south of Rosario, Argentina, Acuña wore the number 10 orange jersey like Messi as a child. Here, Messi, who was only 5 years old at the time, fell in love with football. The next day, Acuña finally met his idol and played with Messi.

Image source: FIFA World Cup official social media

The documentary filmmaker once struck at the similarities between Acuña and Messi: both were introduced to football at an early age and both had excellent left-footed skills. Messi joined Newell's Old Boys Club when he was 8 years old, and Acuña was caught by Newell's Old Boys at the age of 4.

Over time, the talent shown by Acuña caught the attention of the coach of the national team, and he successfully entered the Argentina U17 national team and participated in the 2023 South American U17 Champions Cup with the team. Against Bolivia, Acuña also scored a winning goal. With their excellent performances, Acuña and Argentina were given the opportunity to participate in the Under-17 World Cup.

Image Credit: Newell Old Boys Social Media

During the national team's training last month, Acuña met Messi again and the two hugged and took a group photo.

In the Argentine national team, the real-life version of the story of "I will be you when I grow up" has been staged many times. Enzo, Alvarez, De Paul and others are all Messi's "fan brothers". Perhaps in the near future, Acuña will be able to play side by side with his idol, and even wear the No. 10 jersey of the Argentine team with the honor and pride of the "Pampas Eagles".

However, for Acuña now, his first goal is to help Argentina win the Under-17 World Cup. (ENDS)