Kim Kardashian criticised over 8yo son Saint walking out with Lionel Messi ahead of Inter Miami-LA Galaxy football match

Kim Kardashian is making headlines yet again, this time attracting criticism after her son, Saint, had the privilege of walking alongside football legend Lionel Messi as his escort over the weekend.

The eight-year-old, Kardashian's eldest son with ex-husband Kanye West, held the Argentine footballer's hand as they entered the pitch ahead of the Major League Soccer clash between Inter Miami and LA Galaxy on Sunday (local time).

The proud mum shared footage of the moment with her 75.1 million followers on X (formerly known as Twitter), alongside the caption: "Saint walking Messi out on the field tonight at the La Galaxy vs Inter Miami game!!! He is living the absolute dream [sic]!"

It's well-known among the Kardashian clan's fans that Saint is obsessed with the sport, with Kardashian transforming the backyard of her mansion into a soccer-themed celebration for Saint's eighth birthday in December.

But not everyone was happy for Saint, with several viewers expressing that a less fortunate child should have been able to accompany Messi onto the pitch. Others claimed that Kardashian had paid for her son to be given the opportunity, with one declaring in the comments: "Money can buy happiness. Debate closed!"

"Would be awesome if some kid actually deserving of it got that opportunity. Not someone who was incredibly lucky to be born to billionaires," a second added.  

"Talk about privilege. Hope he can kick the ball," a third weighed in, while a fourth commented: "What money can buy."  

"Whoever said money is not everything was lying. Even Messi can be bought," another snarked. 

However, the majority of commenters congratulated Saint for the monumental occasion, with many arguing his family's wealth didn't make him any less deserving of the opportunity.

"Saint is a huge soccer fan and has always loved it so much and that makes him extremely deserving. You think having a family and resources that make that available and possible for him make him less deserving?" one said.  

"He deserves it as much as every other kid," a second hit out, with a third arguing: "I mean he's still a kid. I'm sure you would do the same for your son."

A fourth declared: "That little boy just knows he loves soccer and that Messi is his hero, just like any other kid his age with 'normal' parents. This narrative is so tired."  

"The jealousy in the comments, he is a KID! He's definitely living his best life as he should!" another weighed in, to which one critic responded: "We're not mad at the kid, we're mad at the adult that knows they could introduce their kid to Messi whenever." 

Kim Kardashian with her four children (L-R): North, Psalm, Chicago and Saint.
Kim Kardashian with her four children (L-R): North, Psalm, Chicago and Saint. Photo credit: @kimkardashian / Instagram

Kardashian has frequently documented Saint's passion for sport, even branding herself a "soccer mom" last year. She has often been photographed attending her son's games, and has been known to take him and his siblings to professional matches.

For his soccer-themed birthday bash in December, guests were each given a white Adidas football jersey emblazoned with 'Best in the West' on the front and Saint's name and the number eight on the back.  

As well as Messi, Saint also idolises Brazilian forward Neymar - even dressing up as a 'zombified' version of the football icon for Halloween.