Lionel Messi: Argentina Captain Discloses Superstition Before World Cup Final Against France

Lionel Messi: Argentina Captain Discloses Superstition Before World Cup Final Against France

Elijah Odetokun
updated at January 24, 2024 at 10:18 AM
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  • Lionel Messi captained Argentina to the 2022 FIFA World Cup trophy
  • The South Americans beat defending champions, France on penalties
  • Messi has opened up on a ritual he observed before the final in Lusail

Lionel Messi aligned with a traditional superstition before the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup final victory over France and has now opened up about it.

He captained Argentina to their first Mundial since Mexico 1986 under Diego Maradona, beating the defending champions via a penalty shootout.

Lionel Messi, Argentina, France, FIFA World Cup, Qatar, 2022, Hugo Lloris.
Lionel Messi leads Argentina out for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup final against France. Photo by Clive Brunskill.
Source: Getty Images

Messi thus won the only missing silverware from his loaded trophy cabinet, overcoming an initial setback of an opening day loss to minions, Saudi Arabia.

The record Ballon d'Or holder scored seven goals and was named the tournament’s best player ahead of former Paris Saint-Germain teammate, Kylian Mbappe, who won the Golden Boot after scoring a hat-trick in the final.

Messi discloses World Cup final superstition

As quoted by AlbicelesteTalk, Messi claimed he had in mind the usual superstition concerning finals as he led the Copa America champions out at the Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022.

"In case, when I entered the field, I didn’t look at the trophy. They say you shouldn’t look at it or touch it, and just to be safe, I didn’t," he said.

Fans believe touching the trophy before a final could translate to bad luck for the player, affect the team, and even cause them lose the final.

Per Diario AS, Dimitri Payet failed to adhere to this by touching the UEFA Europa League trophy before the 2018 final between Atletico Madrid and Olympique Marseille.

The France international went off injured in the 32nd minute with the score at 1-0, with the Spanish side winning 3-0 for Diego Simeone to claim a second trophy in the competition.

Scaloni’s comment after Argentina’s loss

Sports Brief has also reported on Lionel Scaloni’s reaction to Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia in their Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup opening game.

A video made rounds on social media for the first time since the triumph, where he was seen questioning an unseen figure about the Saudi loss.

Despite Scaloni's agitation, he was confident his team would be unstoppable in the tournament if they could recover mentally, which they did.

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Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.