Junior Messias, 30, makes his CL debut for Milan four years after working as a refrigerator delivery driver in Italy’s fourth division.
JUNIOR MESSIAS has had a whirlwind four years, going from being a refrigerator delivery driver to scoring in the Champions League for AC Milan.
Last night, the Brazilian forward had a fairy-tale evening after scoring the game-winning goal against Atletico Madrid in his Champions League debut.
Milan’s late winner kept them in contention for a place in the last 16 by putting them ahead of Atletico Madrid in third place on goal difference, with both teams on four points.
Porto are a point ahead of Milan, who face Liverpool in their final group game.
After an hour, Messi came on to join Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Suarez, and Antoine Griezmann on the pitch in a tense European tie.
But, despite being the better team on the night, Stefano Poli’s Milan eventually won thanks to Messias’ 87th minute headed goal.
When he leapt to meet Franck Kessie’s cross, he rose to the occasion by heading past Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak.
Oblak had just made a world-class save to deny Ibrahimovic, but he couldn’t stop Messias’ bullet header that gave Milan the win.
Messias moved to Italy with his wife and son when he was 20 years old in 2011, to join his brother in Turin and play for an amateur team in his spare time.
He began his professional football career at the age of 24 for Italian fifth-tier side Casale, where he scored 21 goals in 32 games.
Messias earned a move to Chieri to play in Serie D after excelling in the Eccelenza, Italy’s equivalent of the National League.
And the now 30-year-old Brazilian showed his worth at the next level, scoring 15 goals in 34 games in the Italian fourth division.
He then moved on to Gozzano, where he was promoted to Serie C and continued to play until 2019, before joining Crotone in Serie B.
Messias reportedly made a living polishing bricks on construction sites and delivering refrigerators before becoming a professional footballer.
But, just a few years later, the Belo Horizonte native played a key role in Crotone’s historic promotion to the Italian top flight in 2019-20.
He went on to make a big impression on Italian giants AC Milan after only reaching the highest level of Italian football at the age of 28.
Messi signed a one-year loan deal with the Rossoneri this summer…
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I dedicate this goal to my family and all those who believed in me
Junior Messias on his goal against Atletico