Italian giants compare non-league Scot to Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard

Over the weekend an unlikely alliance formed between Italian giants AS Roma and Scottish junior side Saint Anthony's.

Roma have backed junior Scottish side St Anthony's. Picture: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty

The Serie A side threw their support behind The Ants for their clash with Johnstone Burgh.

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It was the official Non League Day in the UK due to the international break as fans of clubs who had the weekend off encouraged to go and support their local non league sides.

A surprising turn of events came for Saint Anthony’s, who play in the Scottish Junior Football Association West Region League 2, on Saturday morning ahead of the clash when Roma’s official English Twitter account posted a message of support for The Ants to their 335,000 followers.

St Anthony’s defeated Johnstone Burgh 3-1 thanks to hat-trick from Grant Kelly.

The Italian side compared the hat-trick hero to Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard and Luka Modric with a trivia tweet which included a video of Kelly’s hat-trick and him thanking Roma and fans all around the world.

It has seen St Anthony’s receive support and messages from around the world, with United Soccer League side San Antonio FC inviting the club to Texas.

The collaboration all came about due to a tweet from Ants fan James McKenna tweeting Roma asking them to make St Anthony’s their favourite Scottish team.

The club’s media officer Martin McKenna told BBC Scotland: “The first I knew about it was when my wife woke me this morning to tell me about the tweet and my phone has been in meltdown mode since.

“It’s gone a bit crazy and we now have 4,000 followers from around the world - 3,700 of them this morning.”

Highlights of the club’s win are available on YouTube, accompanied by Antonello Venditti’s ‘Roma, Roma, Roma’.

A spokesperson for the Serie A side said: ““What’s more incredible than fans in Rome and Nigeria suddenly supporting a team from Govan and telling everyone about it on social media?

“Football can be incredible sometimes and can bring people together. Hopefully this is one of those times. Mon the Ants! Forza the Ants!

“And the next time Roma play in Scotland in the Champions League we’ll be up for a few beers.”