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Meet the young American who graced the World Cup final… Lionel Messi’s mascot

Jul 15, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final

On Sunday there was one American on the pitch at the Maracana Stadium in Rio di Janeiro for the 2014 World Cup final.

Lionel Messi‘s mascot.

That’s right, as the Argentine captain led his team out for the biggest game of his career, the four-time World Player of the Year was holding the hand of a Richmond, Va. native, eight-year-old Kaylie-Jade Plott.

[ RELATED: Messi wins Golden Ball ]

Plott was picked at random as the only American child to be one of the player mascots in the final, and was handed a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Below are pictures of Kaylie-Jade, sent along by the company who organized the trip in conjunction with McDonald’s USA and U.S. Soccer as 26 young American kids were player mascots at the World Cup

The American youngster retells her experience of standing side-by-side in the tunnel at the Maracana with Messi, then walking out into the World Cup final with one of the greatest players the planet has ever seen. Plott and her mother, Jamie Williams, revealed plenty about the electric atmosphere inside the stadium, plus their sadness that Messi and Argentina couldn’t pull out the win.

Below, in her own words, the young American describes how the moment she realized Messi would walk her out onto the pitch. Take it away, Kaylie-Jade.

Let’s hope sooner rather than later (hopefully Russia 2018) many more Americans can repeat your feat of being involved in a World Cup final!

I was waiting in the tunnel and kept looking around to see when the Argentina team was coming in, which was so exciting. I knew I was walking out with them, but didn’t know I got him [Messi]. And then he was there, standing next to me but I still didn’t know he was my player…the one I would walk with out of the tunnel. It wasn’t until he looked over at me and then I realized “Oh my goodness, it’s Messi!” I knew he was one of the biggest soccer players in the world because of the magazines. Before we walked out, he was quiet but he smiled at me and even helped me on the field by turning me the right way, which was really cool!”

PHOTO GALLERY

Kaylie-Jade finds out in the tunnel that she will be walking out with Messi…

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Plott waiting in the tunnel with Messi as both teams heads out…

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The Argentine and American duo walk down the tunnel…

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Plott enters the famous Maracana stadium alongside Messi for the World Cup final…

source: Getty Images

Both teams stand for the national anthems…

source: Getty Images

Messi and Plott standing together in the Maracana…

source: Getty Images

  1. tarotsujimoto74 - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    That’s amazing. What I would have given to be in that position when I was 8… Hell, what I’d give to do that now…

    • Ayase Yano - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:16 AM

      Pfft…

  2. 4thquartermagic - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Pretty cool. Anybody who grows up loving any sport would agree that being next to one of the greatest to ever play whatever sport you love, is pretty special.

  3. braxtonrob - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    That’s awesome, great story!

  4. dws110 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Really cool story, but does anyone else think it’s weird that they call little kids “mascots”? It’s always bugged me that they use the word “mascot”. Where does that term come from in this context?

    • 214peacock - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:13 PM

      Terms in soccer or the king’s English usually make a lot of sense. Mascot is just someone that brings the team good fortune. I guess mascots in America are usually seen as cartoonish rally monkeys rather than ppl so i see why it can be confusing to use this term. Joe wright is an Englishman so it’s suiting he uses that term. Nevertheless, cool story, fortunate gal!

    • sibertt - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      “Mascot” comes from the French “mascotte”, one translation of which being “faerie friend”. I’m guessing the practice of calling these kids “mascots” may come more directly from this French heritage (especially since FIFA itself is French) instead of the common English use.

  5. rasputin9 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    I could only imagine how she felt . One of my sons ,Brian , has a pictured of Shep Messing , ( goal keeper for the NY Cosmos of the former NSL ) , holding him when he was a baby , in a trip fans of the Club made to Washington to see them play against DC United . and he always brags about it .

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