Martin Braithwaite isn’t washing kit after Lionel Messi hug during Barcelona win

New Barcelona man Martin Braithwaite has joked that he won’t be washing his kit after sharing a hug with Lionel Messi.

Braithwaite, 28, secured a shock £15m move to Barca from Leganes earlier this week.

The Spanish champions were granted permission by La Liga to make an emergency signing after losing Ousmane Dembele to injury for the next six months, and former Middlesbrough star Braithwaite was the player they opted for.

He got off to a dream start at the Nou Camp on Saturday, coming off the bench to register two assists in a 5-0 win over Eibar.

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The Denmark international first teed up Messi, pulling the ball across goal and allowing him to round the goalkeeper before tapping home.

And the Ballon d’Or legend celebrated by embracing his new team-mate, who was clearly left chuffed after the match.

“I won’t wash my clothes after I hugged Messi,” Braithwaite told reporters.

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“He congratulated me, he’s a great guy and tried to make me feel comfortable on the pitch by passing to me often. I’m very happy to have given my first assist to Leo.”

Braithwaite almost got off to a flyer on his Barca debut, racing through on goal and firing a shot at Marko Dmitrovic.

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However, Dmitrovic got a foot to his effort and the ball fell straight into the path of Arthur, who swept it into an empty net.

“I feel bad for not having scored but Dmitrovic did very well,” Braithwaite added.

“It was an extraordinary debut, a dream come true. When the coach called me to warm up I was a bit nervous but looking forward to getting on.

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“I feel very good here, I’m surrounded by fantastic players.”

Barca manager Quique Setien was delighted with Braithwaite’s immediate impact, insisting the club have made a solid addition to his squad.

"He played well and we all feel that his signing is a good one,” he said.

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“He'll help the team greatly and is a strong and bright player. He made a fine debut and performed admirably.”

Braithwaite now has two mouthwatering fixtures on the horizon at Barca, with a Champions league trip to Napoli in store on Tuesday.

He will then go away to arch-rivals Real Madrid for his first El Clasico fixture next Sunday.

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