Lionel Messi visits Romford – but why?

PUBLISHED: 11:39 13 November 2014 | UPDATED: 11:39 13 November 2014

Lionel Messi training at West Ham United Training Facility at Rush Green. Picture: West Ham United

Lionel Messi training at West Ham United Training Facility at Rush Green. Picture: West Ham United

Arfa / Griffiths Photographers

Football’s international superstar Lionel Messi paid a visit to Romford this week - but was it for the famous market stall bargains, a night in South Street’s clubs, or a flutter at the race track?

Lionel Messi training at West Ham United Training Facility at Rush Green. Picture: West Ham UnitedLionel Messi training at West Ham United Training Facility at Rush Green. Picture: West Ham United

It was actually for professional reasons, as the four-time world’s best player winner was training with his Argentina teammates at West Ham’s Rush Green academy ahead of their match against Croatia at Upton Park.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, ex-Hammer Carlos Tevez and Manchester United’s Angel Di Maria also caused a stir, but it was the man often regarded as the world’s best ever player who created a storm on social media.

Twitter was awash with speculation from residents as to why Messi was visiting. One, @JoshVsSawyerr, wondered whether he was having “a cheeky Nando’s”.

While @Artistic Arsenal tweeted: “Messi is in Romford, I am finally proud to be from here.”

The West Ham youngsters who had the privilege to stand toe-to-toe with the maestro also took to the social media site to share their feelings.

Under-21 defender Sam Westley tweeted: “An unreal experience – playing against Messi was one of my best experiences ever.”

And midfielder Matthias Fanimo added: “Easily without doubt the best day of my life. What an experience. Don’t think anything is topping that.”

The town obviously had a good influence on him, as despite missing from the spot against Brazil last month, he scored a penalty at Upton Park to give Argentina a 2-1 win over Croatia.

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

A knife-wielding thug who carried out a string of violent robberies in Havering and a burglary in Ilford is due to be sentenced today (August 17).


A community that has been left “disappointed” after the decision to build on a contentious open space by their homes was given the green light.


Police are trying to find Rachael Joseph who has been missing since yesterday afternoon.


Two beloved historical societies in Havering that have been around for more than 50 years folded due to declining membership.

Yesterday, 17:00

Curiosity Killed the Cat are just one of the highlights of the 40th Anniversary Havering Show this August Bank Holiday weekend.

Yesterday, 14:17

Students at a school have been celebrating their “amazing” A-level results today.

Yesterday, 12:30

The students at a Harold Hill school have been celebrating receiving their A-level results with many being able to go to their first choice university.

Yesterday, 11:28

The principal of Havering Sixth Form College is “delighted” with this year’s successes in A-level and B-tec examinations.


“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now