Former Senator Manny Pacquiao revealed in an interview that he is hoping soccer icon Lionel Messi will one day return to FC Barcelona to wear "Barça's #10 again".
Because of the Argentinian player, the Filipino boxing legend said he became a fan of the Spanish football club as well as the Argentinian national soccer team during a visit to the legendary Camp Nou stadium. Pacquiao and his family are vacationing in Barcelona, Spain after a grueling 90-day campaign period in the 2022 Philippine presidential elections, in which he came in third.
Pacquiao said he took the opportunity to visit Camp Nou on his first trip to Barcelona, and received a shirt from FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta.
With Laporta as "his tourist guide", Pacquiao was given a tour of the stadium in Blaugrana.
Pacquiao even toured the museum in the stadium, as well as the first team locker.
On its website, FC Barcelona highlighted the former boxer’s achievement in its statement about Pacquiao’s visit.
"'Pac-Man' is the only winner of nine world titles in eight different categories, and was named boxer of the 2000s by the World Boxing Council (WBC)," read their statement.
"Having retired for good in 2021 after 25 years in the ring, he is also famed for his many other talents, which range from singing and acting to currently being the president of the PDP-Laban political party and having a seat in his country's congress from 2010 to 2016 and is now a senator,” the city government’s website added.
Coming out of retirement?
Although retired already from the boxing ring, Pacquiao is not ruling out fighting again. “Right now, I am enjoying my retirement, spending time with my family, and also focused on my business. If there’s an opportunity like fighting someone again, why not?” he said in an interview.
“I also have an exhibition match next December against a Korean boy,” Pacquiao revealed. But currently, he doesn’t have a rival in mind that he wishes to match against if he decides to come out of retirement.
“I don’t know yet if I’m really going to come back seriously,” he added.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.
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