Playing in a tournament as prestigious and grand as the World Cup means you get to go toe-to-toe with the best players in the sport.
Messi, Ronaldo, Lewandowski, Kevin de Bruyne, and Mbappe are just some of the big names representing their country in Qatar.
It is a great opportunity for other supposedly ‘lesser’ players to share a stage with these giants, especially those players who do not play for a Champions League club and therefore, have maybe never come across some of these high-profile names on a pitch before.
Matty Cash, Poland’s right-back, is one such player who got to play against the likes of Messi in the World Cup this year.
Playing for Nottingham Forest first and now Aston Villa means he has probably never played on a European stage. He made his international debut only in November 2021, meaning he hasn’t had exposure of this kind via the national route either.
For players like him, marking these moments is important. Now sure, you can click pictures or get autographs. But to truly make it a memorable memento, you need something personal. Like a matchworn shirt.
Shirt swaps are a great way to show your respect for the opposition player while also taking away something from the game that very few can match.
His team, Poland, were in a group with Argentina and France, meaning progression was always going to be a gargantuan task. As expected, Poland failed to qualify, but Matty Cash has managed to still take away something from Qatar.
First came Argentina, and the prospect of defending against the Little Magician Lionel Messi. Cash and co. lost 2-0, but Cash still managed to get something for his efforts.
His club teammate, Emi Martinez, playing for Argentina, managed to get Leo’s shirt as a gift for the Polish international.
It speaks volumes about the calibre of the player and the bonding Emi and Matty have when one is willing to go to lengths even on an international stage to do something special for his peer.
Then four days later, Mbappe came calling.
These 90 minutes too did not go the way of Poland. But Cash got to add to his growing and glowing kit collection.
That was the end of the road as far as the tournament is concerned for Poland.
But Cash’s ‘star gazing’ did not end there.
He met another absolute and undoubted legend of the game. Ronaldinho.
Enjoying some downtime after the cup, it appears Matty Cash bumped into the Brazilian on a beach and grabbed a picture with him.
Both Cash and Ronaldinho posted the picture on their social media, with Cash simply writing ‘Legend’ with a GOAT emoji, while Ronaldinho wrote ‘Thank you for the love, Matty Cash’.
Fans have taken notice of Cash’s exploits in the Gulf country and are quite happy for the Aston Villa man.
With still some weeks to go before the Premier League starts and Cash is required in England, we can’t wait to see who else he meets and flaunts about on social media. Envy is what we feel.