Lionel Messi, who inspired Argentina to its third World Cup trophy, said, “it is Diego who encouraged us from heaven.”
Argentina, on Sunday, defeated France 4-2 in a penalty shootout after both teams drew at 3-3 following extra-time, with Messi scoring twice and then another in the shootout as Albiceleste ended their 36-year wait for football’s greatest prize. In 1986, Diego Maradona led Argentina to its second World Cup trophy. The legendary footballer passed away in November 2020 at 60.
Messi, now 35, took six World Cups to finally achieve his dream. He lost the 2014 World Cup final to Germany.
Messi wrote on Instagram, “From Grandoli to the Qatar World Cup took almost 30 years. It was close to three decades when the ball gave me many joys and some sorrows. I always had a dream of being a World Champion and I didn’t want to stop trying, even knowing that maybe I would never give up.
“This Cup we got is also from all those who did not make it in the previous World Cups we played, like in 2014 in Brazil, where they all deserved it for how they fought until the same final, worked hard and wanted it as much as I did… And we deserved it even in that damn ending.
Talking about Maradona, his former coach during the 2010 South Africa World Cup, Messi said, “It’s also from Diego who encouraged us from heaven.
“And of all those who spent the time always supporting the national team without looking so much at the result but the desire we always put into it, also when things didn’t go as we wanted.
“Many times failure is part of the journey and learning, and without the disappointments it is impossible for success to come.
“Thank you very much from my heart! Let’s go Argentina!!!”
Messi added, “And of course, it’s from all this beautiful group that was formed and of the technical team and all the people of the national team who, being anonymous, work day and night to make it easier for us.”
Argentina returned home amid huge fanfare as millions gathered in Buenos Aires to welcome the national team heroes.
Messi’s latest Instagram message came after his photo holding the World Cup trophy became the most popular post in the social media platform’s history, amassing 65 million likes.
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