Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi was spotted whispering a heartfelt tribute to one person before Argentina beat France in the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar.
However, France fought back in the second half and forced the thrilling World Cup final to extra-time thanks to a sensational quick-fire brace from Kylian Mbappe.
Messi restored Argentina’s lead in the second half of extra-time, only for PSG teammate Mbappe to complete his stunning hat-trick from the spot-kick.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner stepped up for Argentina’s first penalty in the shootout and effortlessly beat Hugo Lloris from the spot-kick.
Messi’s teammates Paulo Dybala, Leandro Paredes and Gonzalo Montiel also converted from the spot-kick as Argentina beat France 4-2 in the shootout.
Before Montiel struck his winning penalty to fire Argentina to the World Cup trophy, Messi could be seen making a heartwarming tribute and uttering one final message.
Messi whispered the words “Puede ser hoy, abu,” which translated from Spanish to English means “It could be today, Grandma.”
The Argentina captain made his small prayer while looking up to the sky in memory of Celia Olivera Cuccittini, who played an instrumental role in Messi’s life before passing away in 1998.
Messi, who will turn 36 in June, dismissed speculation surrounding his international future after the World Cup and vowed to continue playing for Argentina.
The World Cup-winning Argentine insisted that he wanted to represent Argentina while they are the champions of football.
“I won the Copa America and the World Cup in a short time,” Messi told TyC Sports after the World Cup.
“I love what I do, being in the national team, and I want to continue living a few more games being world champion.”
He added: “I am going to take the Cup to Argentina to enjoy it with you.”
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni also revealed that there would be a place for Messi in the squad when his team begin their title defence at the 2026 World Cup.
“First of all, we need to save him a spot for the World Cup 2026,” he said.
“If he wants to keep playing, he will be with us. I think he is more than entitled to decide whether he wants to keep playing or what he wants to do with his career.
“It is such a huge pleasure for us to coach him and his teammates. Everything that he transmits to his teammates is something unparalleled, something I have never seen before -- a player, a person who gives so much to his teammates.”
Featured Image Credit: TikTok
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