With his scoring nose intact, Gabriel Omar Batistuta detected that “there is something in the air that wants Argentina to be champion, for Messi and for the fans” and he told this newspaper.
And it is like that, what is breathed in Doha, from the beginning, is that it is Messi’s World Cup. The images, the advertisements, the t-shirts that are seen on the street, everything revolves around the Argentine captain. And Leo with his overflowing attitude, with that desire to eat his last World Cup, repaid all the expectations to the maximum and seems pushed towards the title by a multitude of fans from all over the planet, except the French, which includes journalists and other neutrals.
That’s the feeling: that the world wants Messi to be champion and is pushing to help him achieve it. We will have to wait to find out if that materializes, but the energy is going around.
The Kid Carlos Valderrama was one of the first foreigners to whitewash the issue: “I’m a fan of Argentina because Messi deserves to be champion,” he told Clarion before the quarterfinals with the Netherlands. Later, many FIFA Legends spoke in the same direction, including Clarence Seedorf, a benchmark for the Netherlands, one of the victims of Leo’s magic, who told the Olé newspaper: “I would love for Mbappé to score a goal, for Messi to score another goal and for Argentina to win 2-1.”
The former Brazilian full-back Cafú, for example, had no problem confessing: “I love Messi and I want him to win. I always enjoyed the best players and he is one of them.” The German Lothar Matthäus, a friend of Maradona, was also generous despite having been another victim: “I had said that I loved that it was Messi who broke my attendance record. Now I want him to do it with the title, he deserved to end his career like this”.
Christian Karembeu, world champion with France in 1998, found a consolation prize for doubts: “If the final is lost, I’ll be happy for Messi.” Jorge Campos, former goalkeeper for Mexico, offered an excellent definition: “Did you see with the smile that he plays? How does he do what he does and smile like that? Without a doubt, it would be deserved for Messi to win the Cup”.
The Chilean Iván Zamorano said that his wife is Argentine and that their children have Chile and National Team shirts, so his vote seems sung: “I think that this way you will understand what I think. It will be a very tough game, closed but Messi is the king and Mbappé the prince.
And it is that Messi melts the antagonisms. After the 3-0 loss to Croatia, former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted about him: “Is there still a debate that he is the greatest of all time?” The journalist Carol Barcellos, from O Globo, tells us: “I think so, that there are many people who support Argentina for Messi, in Brazil too. We love football and there is a lot of respect and admiration for Messi.”
It is clear that Leo’s brilliant performance in this Cup rekindles the comparison with Maradona. After the win in the semifinal, the sports newspaper As, from Spain, headlined with a nod to Diego: “What planet did you come from?” Juan Castro, journalist for the daily Marca, consulted by Clarionhe thinks that “80 percent of the world soccer fan is with Messi. In Spain, the Real Madrid fan will be with France, but the anti-Argentinism that they sell us that exists in my country is absolutely false.”
In Italy, the Gazzetta dello Sport played with a “MaraMessi” on its cover. Meanwhile, Corriere dello Sport described him as “stratospheric” and one of his special envoys to Qatar, Fabrizio Patania, told this newspaper: “I think that football lovers love Messi and want to see him champion. He is at a level sublime, spatial. Messi is football”.
Meanwhile, Matteo Dotto, a Mediaset journalist, points out: “In Italy the biggest pike was always with France, also socially, that’s why the majority are with Messi and with Argentina. There is also a coincidence that the Napoli fans follow carefully: In 1986 Argentina won the World Cup and then Maradona won Napoli for the first time. Today the team is first in Serie A and could win its first scudetto without Maradona. That is, Messi is present in his prayers.”
Also in the United States they are waiting for what Messi can achieve. It is told by Andrés Cantor, an Argentine journalist who has lived there for 43 years, main reporter for Telemundo, owner of FDP Radio, an indisputable reference and present here in Doha: “In the different farewells before traveling to Qatar from soccer friends and not so much, Of colleagues, the common point was the same: I hope Messi can win the Cup. None assured this IS Messi’s cup, but rather it was an expression of desire so that Messi could take the trophy he lacks. The same thing was told to me by all the people who, upon recognizing me, expressed their desire to see Messi champion. Almost a common denominator, Messi over Argentina, and not the other way around, although the order of the factors does not alter the product.”
It also happens in Mexico, as explained by Inés Sainz, TV Azteca’s special correspondent: “Totally, I think that the majority is pushing for Messi. He has given us such good football, he has made us so happy for so long, it’s like We owe it to him, It’s obvious, you feel it in the environment, you vibrate it, how many people are there from all countries with his shirt, including Mexicans. I think so, that the time has come for him and I also love it because we are seeing a Messi braver, with more personality, who knows that if he does things the way he knows how to do them, nothing will take away his glory”.
This World Cup and Messi, today they are almost the same, generate remarkable situations. Like the fact that the Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol, who became famous for the dance that a Leo 15 years older than him gave him in the third goal, openly confesses his fanaticism for the Argentine 10, before and after the game, and that he contributes a great definition: “He had played against Messi, but he is a completely different player when he plays with the National Team.”
Or that outside of soccer, the actress Jenna Ortega, in full broadcast of the Merlina series in which she stars, answers when asked about the meaning of the word messirve: “You mean cool, right? Of course! Messi is one One of the best of all time!”
The World Cup turns the planet upside down for a month, with the magic of Messi breaking records and astonishing everyone with his 35-year-old who looks like he’s twenty-something. A planet that mostly accompanies him, gets on his left foot and makes strength so that he can lift the Cup on Sunday.
Doha, Qatar. Special delivery