BARRIO – Messi finally lifted football’s ultimate prize on Sunday as Argentina’s Nation Team was crowned world champions after beating France in a tense penalty shoot-out.
Not only did he make history by becoming the first player to win the World Cup Player of the Tournament twice, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was at his best throughout the tournament.
He had such an influence that Argentina’s Central Bank are thinking about honouring Messi with a remarkable gesture. The financial governing body are considering ways of celebrating their World Cup win, and having Messi’s face on the 1000-peso note is a serious consideration.
Why? Because the figure begins with the number 10 – the shirt number worn by their star man.
There are also suggestions that “La Scaloneta” – the nickname of manager Lionel Scaloni – will be inscribed on the back of the note.
Eduardo Hecker and Lisandro Cleri, who are directors, agreed that the banknote design would “awaken the collecting spirit of Argentines”.
Messi has been celebrating Argentina’s World Cup win for a number of days and on Wednesday, he returned home to a hero’s welcome. Large crowds gathered outside his Rosario home to celebrate his triumph when he and his wife Antonella Roccuzzo pulled up outside their house in an Audi.
Hundreds chanted the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s name, with police and security trying to escort him to the door of his home.
Messi, who looked a little taken aback by the reception that greeted him, eventually managed to get inside the property.
“I love football, it’s what I do,” he said after lifting the World Cup. “I enjoy being in the national team and want to continue by experiencing a few more games as a world champion.”
He added: “Obviously I wanted to cap my career with this and I can’t ask for anything more.”
Lionel Scaloni says he wants to take Messi to the 2026 World Cup – a tournament that will take place in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
“First of all, we need to save him a spot for the next World Cup 2026,” the manager said. “If he wants to keep playing, he’ll be with us. I think that he’s more than entitled to decide whether he wants to keep playing for Argentina or not.