Lionel Messi stepped out of Diego Maradona’s shadow by main Argentina to World Cup victory final yr and a statue of the diminutive ahead will stand alongside these of his predecessor and Brazil nice Pelé on the South American federation’s museum.
Messi, holding a reproduction of the World Cup trophy, stood beside the life-size statue at an unveiling ceremony on the South American Soccer Federation (CONMEBOL) headquarters in Luque, Paraguay earlier than the Copa Libertadores draw on Monday.
The 35-year-old emulated the late Maradona by main Argentina to their first World Cup triumph in 36 years in Qatar in December.
“I had by no means dreamed or thought of this,” Messi mentioned. “My dream was to take pleasure in what I preferred after I was little, to be knowledgeable soccer participant, to do what I at all times cherished on this life.
“I had a really lengthy street, many selections and defeats, however I at all times appeared forward and needed to go for a triumph, for a victory.
“I believe that’s a very powerful factor, to combat on your goals, that every little thing is feasible and to benefit from the recreation, which is essentially the most lovely factor there’s.”
The Argentina gamers and coach Lionel Scaloni additionally obtained miniature trophies of the World Cup and the Copa América, which they gained in 2021.
The Argentine Soccer Federation renamed the nationwide staff’s coaching facility after Messi on Saturday, two days after he scored his 800th profession purpose in a 2-Zero pleasant win over Panama.
Messi has scored 99 targets for his nation and would grow to be the primary Argentina participant to internet 100 worldwide targets if he scores in Tuesday’s pleasant in opposition to Curaçao.
This text was initially printed by cnn.com. Learn the unique article right here.
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