Lionel Messi’s final words uttered before winning penalty for Argentina in World Cup final have been revealed
It’s almost exactly one month since Lionel Messi achieved his lifelong dream of winning the World Cup with Argentina.
The 35-year-old further cemented his status as one of football’s all-time greats after inspiring his nation to glory in Qatar.
Messi was the star of tournament and deservedly received the Golden Ball award following a series of stunning individual performances, culminating in scoring two goals (and a penalty in the shootout) during arguably the best World Cup final of all-time.
France, inspired by Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe, fought until the final whistle but Argentina prevailed thanks largely to their legendary captain plus goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Martinez pulled off arguably the biggest save in the history of Argentine football in the dying seconds of extra-time before psyching out France’s penalty takers in the shootout.
Substitute Gonzalo Montiel had the opportunity to seal Argentina their first World Cup title since 1986 with his team’s fourth penalty after Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni had both missed for Les Bleus.
And he took it with both hands, firing the ball into the bottom corner past France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
What did Messi say as Gonzalo Montiel took penalty?
A new clip focused on Messi is currently being shared on social media.
Per Roy Nemer, owner of the the Argentine football website Mundo Albiceleste, Messi is understood to have said: “It could be today, grandma” as Montiel stepped up to take the penalty.
Messi obviously speaks Spanish, so his actual words, per The Mirror were: “Puede ser hoy, abu.”
Watch the clip here:
Messi diciendo “puede ser hoy abu” antes del penal de Montiel. 💔😭 pic.twitter.com/8lBAoaQ0ps
— DOGOR ⭐⭐⭐ (@dogordo_) January 15, 2023
It’s fair to say the clip has made fans emotional:
Who was Messi’s grandmother?
Messi’s iconic goal celebration, in which he points to the sky, is a tribute to his late maternal grandmother Celia Olivera Cuccittini, who passed away in 1998 when her gifted grandson was 11 years old.
Celia was instrumental in encouraging a local coach to give young Lionel an opportunity to play against the bigger kids.
The ball went to Messi and the rest, well, is history.
Messi’s goal celebration is a tribute to his grandma, Celia 🙌
Messi credits Celia with sparking his interest in football and supporting him as a kid.
Sadly, she passed away in 1998 and never saw him play at the top level, but her spirit lives on in this iconic celebration ❤️ pic.twitter.com/GxGzfjLrxh
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 7, 2021
“I was one of the youngest ones and therefore there were no categories for me yet, but one of them was missing a player and so my grandmother told the manager to let me play,” Messi is quoted to have said during a past interview. “To which the manager replied, ‘How can we let him play? He is too small, he cannot play’.
“Despite this, my grandmother still insisted, ‘Let him play, let him play’. She was very much loved by everyone at the club and continued to demand I be put in until they did.
“I scored two goals although truthfully, I do not remember much as I was quite young, but that is the story as my grandmother used to tell it.”