Rodtang gifted autographed jersey from soccer superstar Lionel Messi

By BJPENN.COM Staff - October 25, 2023

Rodtang Jitmuangnon recently received a remarkable gift that left his fans and fellow athletes awestruck.

Rodtang Jitmuangnon

The ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion was delighted to reveal a signed Inter Miami CF jersey from none other than Lionel Messi.

Rodtang decided to share his prized possession with the world. He posted a snapshot of it on Facebook.

While “Iron Man” has long been a soccer enthusiast, it was only in 2021 that he started taking the sport seriously.

The Thai megastar has been using soccer as a key part of his training regimen for his upcoming bouts.

“I just started playing football (soccer) seriously. Actually, I just started less than a year ago. I love to play before and after my fights,” Rodtang said in an interview conducted in 2022.

“I have my (soccer) team where every member is involved in Muay Thai in some way. We love to compete for charity events. Sometimes, we organize our own league by inviting our friends to join and raise funds for donations.”

One can’t help but wonder what draws Rodtang to the world of soccer. The answer may lie in the fact that Messi is one of the greatest players to ever grace the field.

Messi spent the majority of his career with FC Barcelona, where he won a club-record 34 trophies, including 10 La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey crowns, and four UEFA Champions League badges.

As part of the Argentinian national soccer team, Messi added the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 FIFA World Cup to his ever-expanding list of accolades.

But it is not just Messi’s team accomplishments that make him iconic. His individual laurels include seven Ballon d’Or awards.

This past July, the soccer world celebrated when Inter Miami CF announced the signing of Messi to a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Chatri Sityodtong sees Rodtang as next global icon

Chatri Sityodtong, the Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, believes that Rodtang Jitmuangnon has the potential to be a global attraction akin to the superstardom of two famous soccer players.

“In two or three years, Rodtang will be as big as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi,” Chatri said last June.

Rodtang certainly has been building up his resume to be in leagues with such sporting greats as the pair of soccer stars after becoming one of the most recognizable names in Muay Thai.

He began his run with ONE, amassing 14-straight victories across his Muay Thai and kickboxing outings.

Now, Rodtang has his sights on his redemption. In his last assignment, he dropped a unanimous decision to Superlek Kiatmooo9 this past September.

An immediate rematch may be on the horizon for both men after the initial encounter earned rave reviews.


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