As seen in the cute video below, a homeless kitten named after Argentine soccer player/footballer Lionel Messi has been living up to his name in recent weeks by showing a surprising interest in the World Cup. The feline Lionel has demonstrated his skills by avidly chasing the ball around the television screen during matches.
The four-month-old kitten was found as a stray and brought to the Blue Cross animal charity rehoming centre in Southampton, UK in a sorry state, lame in one leg. At the centre, Lionel received treatment for an infection in his leg and began to make a good recovery.
Once he was feeling better, Blue Cross Rehoming Supervisor Laura Boyle, who was fostering him at home, realized that Lionel had a shared interest with his famous namesake. When she switched on the TV to enjoy a World cup match one evening, she realized that there was no stopping the lively kitten getting involved in every game, tirelessly following the ball around the screen.
Laura said: “Lionel was in quite a bad way when he arrived, so it’s lovely to see him so full of beans now. We had no idea he would enjoy the football quite so much when we named him after a player, but it has turned out to suit him perfectly – he’s glued to the screen during every match!”
Lionel has since been adopted, and the soccer loving cat went home last week to watch the finals with his new family.
The Daily Echo, which helped to rehome Lionel, reported on Monday that he found his new home with Phil Cole and family in Titchfield Common, near Fareham.
Phil told the Daily Echo that Lionel is already enjoying games of footie with his three-year-old son Nicholas.
“Lionel has been following Nicholas around everywhere; they love each other already. He is a cheeky little chap and we will certainly be sitting down to watch the World Cup final.
Speaking before the final World Cup match that went to Germany, Phil said: “I know Lionel will support Argentina but I’m going for a Germany win.”
Lionel’s namesake team may have lost, but he won big time when he found the perfect home.