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19th Dec 2022

The meaning behind ‘robe’ that was put on Messi for World Cup ceremony

Steve Hopkins

‘He is a warrior who achieved this victory for Argentina’

While the black robe placed over Lionel Messi‘s shoulders after Argentina’s victory over France caused some discussion, the meaning behind the gesture has been explained and it is quite fitting of the star player.

Gary Lineker questioned FIFA’s decision to make Messi wear the bisht – a traditional men’s cloak in the Arab world – during the World Cup trophy presentation – as it covered part of his Argentina shirt, including the national badge.

“Great pictures from above and great pictures from inside the ground as Argentina win the world cup for the third time and first since 1986 they also of course won it in 1978 in their own country,” said the BBC presenter.

“This is a magic moment it’s a shame in a way they’ve covered up Messi in his Argentina shirt.”

Following a dramatic penalty shootout victory on Sunday, ending Messi’s quest to secure the trophy that has evaded him for so long, the footballer was draped in the robe by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, as Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, watched on.

Members of Royal families wear what is known as a ‘Beshth’ in Arabic. Arabian warriors in the past used to wear it after a victory.

The robe image was also a big payback moment for Qatar’s $220bn investment, The Guardian suggested.

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