Compatriot Pantarotto was absolutely stunned when he bumped into Messi in the mixed zone after his match-winning display vs Nigeria sent La Albiceleste into round of 16.

Messi revealed he had played with the amulet around his ankle, even showing it for proof and the reporter could not believe it.

The lucky charm had belonged to Pantarotto’s mother and when Messi told he wore it for the Nigeria win, he shouted “Mum… Messi wore it” and pointed to the sky.

He also let him take a penalty to help improve his confidence.

The gesture was thoroughly appreciated by Coutinho, who went on to score two against Barcelona for Bayern Munich in the 8-2 Champions League demolition in 2020.

Image: PA
Image: PA

But even now, after completing a loan move to Aston Villa, Coutinho still wears the bracelet.

In his official announcement pictures with Villa, the charm was still around the former Liverpool man’s wrist.

With the bracelet still with him, Coutinho is in line to make his Villa debut against Manchester United on Saturday after signing a temporary deal until the end of the season.

He links up again with Steven Gerrard, who he played with at Liverpool.

“[Steven Gerrard] told me about the club, the ambitions of the club and his plans also,” he told Aston Villa’s official website.

“When I spoke to him after the meeting it was clear that I wanted to be here. I think it [happened] quickly and I am very happy to be here.”

Villa have also snapped up Everton left-back Lucas Digne for a fee of £25 million.



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