When Junior Messias first arrived in Italy, he used to deliver refrigerators; now, the Brazilian is delivering in the Champions League after scoring the goal that kept AC Milan’s hopes of reaching the knockout stage alive.
The 30-year-old, who moved to Italy a decade ago and juggled an amateur career with a delivery job, scored the game-winning goal against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday after coming off the bench. Messias progressed through the leagues before making his Serie A debut last season with Crotone.
Despite the club’s relegation, he scored nine goals, earning him a loan move to Milan. Now, with legendary striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic watching on, he has got off the mark in his third appearance for the former European champions.
“I dedicate it to my family and friends in Brazil,” he said. “But especially to those who have believed in me and who had the faith to bring me to Milan.
The attacker, who made his professional debut three years ago, has battled injuries since arriving at San Siro, but his goal in Madrid puts Milan in third place in Group B, one point behind Porto.
They meet Liverpool, who have already qualified for the knockout stages, in their final group game, knowing that a win will guarantee them a place in the last 16 if Porto and Atletico draw.
Source: BBC Sport