World Cup final: Lionel Messi lifts the trophy in bisht – the traditional Arab dress

It was an iconic moment that will forever go down in World Cup history and Middle Eastern imagery.

The great Lionel Messi was called to the stage to lift the trophy he had dreamed of for much of his illustrious and unprecedented career.

At the other end of the podium were his Argentina teammates, ready to party after beat France on penalties in one of the greatest finals ever.

At its end, Messi shook hands with Fifa President Gianni Infantino and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim, who twice punched the 35-year-old around the head.

Messi then decked himself in a black bisht – a traditional male coat popular in the Arab world – before doing a jig and lifting the famous trophy.

Not only was it Messi’s moment, it was also Qatar’s – on their national day, ending the first World Cup staged in a Muslim country.

It may have been a great honor for Messi to be dressed in the Arab outfit, but others saw it as disrespectful and overshadowing the day he was looking forward to.

“It’s a dress for an official occasion and worn for celebrations,” Hassan Al Thawadi, general secretary of the Qatar tournament organizing committee, told BBC Sport. “It was a celebration of Messi.

“The World Cup had the opportunity to show the world our Arab and Muslim culture. It was not about Qatar, it was a regional celebration.

“People from different backgrounds were able to come, experience what was happening here and understand that we may not agree on everything, but we can always celebrate together.”

Sheikh Tamim said on Twitter:external link “We have kept our promise to organize an exceptional championship of Arab countries.

“It was an opportunity for the peoples of the world to discover the richness of our culture and the originality of our values.”

‘Muchachos’ dreams come true

It almost didn’t happen for Argentina.

The brilliant Kylian Mbappe wanted to have his say with a hat-trick – the first in a World Cup final since England’s Sir Geoff Hurst in 1966 – but the Argentines always believed the late Diego Maradona was watching over them.

In the end, the hopes and dreams of Messi and all of Argentina finally turned into reality at a rocking Lusail Stadium.

The song that swept through Qatar and all the way back to Argentina has been repeated once again.

The one where Don Diego looks down from the sky, “encouraging Lionel, and to be champion again, and to be champion again”.

“Muchachos” is a cover of the song by Argentinian band La Tosca, whose verse translates to: “Boys, we have hope again.”

More than three decades of injuries have been banished as by Lionel Scaloni The men, led by the mercurial Messi, celebrated their third World Cup triumph, after 1978 and 1986, in their sixth final.

‘Where is Messi?’ there is your answer

The tournament started in shocking fashion for Argentina.

“Where’s Messi? Where’s Messi?” Saudi Arabia fans were asking after their team amazing 2-1 win in the opening group game.

This mockery echoed around Doha in the following days and went viral on social media.

But come the centerpiece on Sunday, the question was answered emphatically as Messi confirmed his footballing magnitude, standing on the podium with his captain’s armband on his bicep and the gold prize lifted above his head.

From the moment we touched down in Qatar’s capital on November 16, it felt like a Messi World Cup – the feeling that expectation and excitement can bring the little magician to the one missing piece of silverware in his cabinet. .

Argentinian shirts bearing his famous number 10 were everywhere – in the streets, the souk and stadiums, and worn by men, women and children.

A few Maradonas were scattered, but far from those of the main man on the world stage today.

This song “Muchachos” also resonated in the subway and the shuttles. There was no escaping it, not even in your sleep.

And it was no different on the day of the final.

Argentinian flags hung from rooftops and balconies, as well as from shop windows in local areas of Doha. There was only one team they wanted to see win the trophy.

En route to Lusail, around 11 miles north of Doha, you were carried by the wave of thousands of Argentinian supporters, singing their songs and bursting into chants of ‘Messi, Messi’.

A rowdy section of fans from the South American country were inside the stadium long before kick-off, smashing their drums, jumping up and down and swinging blue and white scarves above their heads.

When photos of the players getting off the bus appeared on the big screen, a deafening roar sounded around star player Messi, and he received the same ovation when the team sheet was read.

It was to be the man of the moment Messi who scored the first goal from the penalty spot, coldly sending Hugo Lloris the wrong way.

His teammates piled on top of him as he slipped in to celebrate, sharing a warm embrace with Rodrigo de Paul.

There was even more joy when Angel di Maria swept home for a second to cap off a stunning team move, with ‘Muchachos’ ringing out once more as fans bounced in the stands.

But Mbappe had other ideas.

Tears of joy

French superstar Mbappe netted a quick brace – just 97 seconds apart – to extend the game.

Messi thought he had won it, leaping from close range, but Mbappe showed his credentials for once taking part in the ‘greatest of all time’ debate.

Argentina kept their cool in the shootout to spark incredible celebrations, with substitutes piling onto the pitch and a group of players surrounding Messi in a circle near the halfway line.

Then came the tears, coach Scaloni, penalty shootout hero Gonzalo Montiel – all followed by man of the match and player of the tournament Messi, who waved to his family in the stands.

The Argentine players celebrated with their families on the pitch, posing for photos with the trophy in front of one of the goals – with fans remaining long after the final whistle.

After carrying their burden, the Argentine players paid their last respects to Messi by lifting him onto their shoulders and carrying him onto the pitch with the trophy in the air.

The show was over. The baton had passed from Maradona to Messi. The greatness has been confirmed. The debate was closed.

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