“It was time for a South American team to become world champions again,” said Argentine star Lionel Messi on Monday, particularly honored during a ceremony called “Night of the Stars” at Conmebol headquarters in Paraguay to pay tribute to the Argentinian team crowned at the 2022 World Cup.
Lionel Messiwho attended the inauguration of a statue in his image at the Football Museum of the South American Football Federation, alongside those of Pelé and Diego Maradona, was widely acclaimed during the event which brought tears of emotion to the 25 players and the members of the Argentine leadership gathered in Luque, near Asuncion.
“I’m fulfilled. That’s what I was missing. I was able to achieve everything in football. I thank my teammates for this beautiful gift they gave me. Now I have to take advantage of what it gives me. stay (as a footballer) no matter what,” the 35-year-old striker, who has appeared in five World Cups, humbly said.
The moment when CONMEBOL president unveiled a life-size replica of Messi for the CONMEBOL Headquarter in Paraguay. \ud83c\udde6\ud83c\uddf7
— FCB Albiceleste (@FCBAlbiceleste) March 28, 2023
Argentinian singer Soledad Pastorutti dedicated the song “Brindis” to her, the same one she had sung for Diego Maradona. The song was published by the PSG player on his social networks to share what he experienced during the World Cup in Qatar.
The artist came down from the stage to Messi’s seat to take his hand and sing along with him. “It was very exciting. It’s very strong. The fact that she is singing it to me now has been a very pleasant moment,” said the Argentine idol, to whom Alejandro Dominguez, president of Conmebol, presented a replica of the World Cup and a stick representing the “leader and guide of world football”.
In a video created by an artificial intelligence and broadcast during the event, Skin et Maradona in the form of holograms also evoked exceptional talents of Messi.
“Beyond all the affection we receive, we are not yet really aware of what it means to be world champion”, explained “La Pulga”.