Barcelona and Argentina forward, Lionel Messi, shocked a reporter after Argentina’s ‘must win’ game against Nigeria on Tuesday, June 26.
Going into the match, Argentina were coming off a dismal 1-1 draw with Iceland, as well as a pulverising 3-0 defeat to Croatia.
With only one point in two games, it would take all of Messi and Argentina’s genius to pull off the great escape and reach the last 16 of the World Cup.
They were able to do it in a thrilling 2-1 encounter with the Super Eagles and after the game, Messi the Magician, left an Argentinian journalist stunned with an amazing gesture.
In the game against Nigeria, he gave La Albiceleste the lead in the first half with an elegant three-touch goal. While Nigeria pulled it back to 1-1 in the second half, the two-time World Cup winners had the last say after Manchester United’s Marcos Rojo slotted in their second goal.
Following the opening game with Iceland on June 16, where Messi’s missed penalty cost Argentina victory, journalist Rama Pantarotto interviewed him in the mixed zone for the Argentine television network TelefeNoticias.
During the interview, Pantarotto gave Messi a red ribbon his mother asked him to pass on to him.
He told the five-time Ballon d’Or winner:
My mum told me to give this to you, my mum loves you more than she loves me. I carry her red ribbon for good luck, if you want it, I can give it to you.
It’s from my mum so make sure to keep it safe because you’re kind of jinxed now.
A nice gesture, which in the grand scheme of things, you wouldn’t think twice about – I couldn’t possibly imagine Messi thought about it after he received it.
Yet following Tuesday night’s great escape, Pantarotto interviewed Messi again, and was left stunned.
Speaking to Messi he said:
I don’t know if you remember, but my mother gave you a ribbon.
With a rye smile on his face, Messi told him to take a ‘look at this’ and pulled down his sock to reveal he had it tied around his ankle all this time.
Absolutely dumbfounded, all Pantarotto could do was turn to the camera and tell his mum ‘Messi wore it!’.
The ribbon must have special powers because it was tied around the same foot Messi used to score against Nigeria, according to the Independent.
However, upon closer inspection, the ribbon is tied around his left foot, while he scored the goal with his right foot.
At the last World Cup in Brazil (2014), Argentina came agonisingly close to lifting a third FIFA World Cup title, but they were beaten 1-0 by Germany.
Thankfully, the Germans won’t be a problem anymore as yesterday, (June 27) Joachim Low’s boys crashed out of the group stages, after losing 2-0 to South Korea.
South Korea scored twice in injury time to send Die Mannschaft home in the first round.
The first was the result of a tense VAR decision, and the second came after a defensive clanger in the 95th minute.
The last time Germany failed to progress from the first round of the World Cup was 80 years ago, at the 1938 tournament in France.
A fact which makes this early exit even more of a failure than it already is.
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