Lionel Messi poses alongside his statue which will be kept at CONMEBOL museum (AP Photo)
Lionel Messi got a replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy, and South American soccer’s governing body CONMEBOL will place his statue alongside Pelé and Diego Maradona
The tributes continue to pour in for Lionel Messi following Argentina’s World Cup triumph.
South American soccer’s governing body on Monday presented the 35-year-old Argentine star a with statue, which will be placed in the CONMEBOL museum next to those of legendary players Pelé and Diego Maradona.
Messi also received replicas of the World Cup and the Finalissima trophy, which Argentina won against Italy, during the ceremony before the Copa Libertadores draw. His teammates and coach Lionel Scaloni received miniature trophies as well, including that of the 2021 Copa America lifted in Brazil.
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“We are living a very special and beautiful moment, getting a lot of love,” Messi said during the tribute. “It was time for a South American team to win the World Cup again.”
Argentina beat Panama 2-0 on Thursday in Buenos Aires in its first international friendly since winning the World Cup title in Qatar last December. Scaloni’s team will face Curacao on Tuesday to celebrate with its fans in the countryside city of Santiago del Estero.
Messi led Argentina to the historic World Cup triumph in Qatar 2022 and has been in sublime form since. He netted a direct free-kick during Argentina’s 2-0 win over Panama.
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The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s future has been the subject of much speculation since he has entered the final months of his ongoing contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
As per reports, Messi had a verbal agreement with PSG, but talks haven’t progressed in recent weeks with former club Barcelona looking to swoop in and make it a romantic reunion with their prodigal son.
La Liga president Javier Tebas though has other plans since the supremo has clearly stated that Barca won’t be able to register new players in the summer until the club can sort out their financial difficulties.
(With inputs from AP)
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