The 35-year-two old’s goals and penalty kick helped propel his team to World Cup glory in a shootout victory over defending champions France after a thrilling 3-3 draw in Qatar last month.
“The cup called out to me, it told me: come and grab me, now you can touch me,” Messi said on the Argentine radio show Urbana Play.
Seeing it “sparkle” in the stunning Lusail Stadium in Doha, where the final was held, “I didn’t hesitate” to kiss it, he said.
Following a heartbreaking loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, Lionel Messi was able to win the tournament in his final World Cup appearance.
Before finally winning the Copa America in 2021, he participated in three losing finals.
Messi said of the World Cup, “After so much suffering and lost finals, God kept it for me.”
This made him the first captain of Argentina’s national team to win the World Cup since Diego Maradona in 1986.
If only Maradona had handed me the trophy, then at least he could have seen Argentina as world champions.
Heart failure was the cause of Maradona’s death two years ago.
A great deal of encouragement and support came from above, and I know he was one of those who helped.
After the victory in Qatar, many thought Messi would retire, at least from international duty, but he decided to keep playing so that he and his team could celebrate as world champions on the field.
After a record-setting career that saw him win the Ballon d’Or a record seven times, four Champions League titles, ten La Liga titles, and a Ligue 1 title with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, he admitted that the end was near.
That’s it, he said, “there’s nothing left; I’ve done it all with the national team, with Barcelona, and on my own.”