- Nasima Akter
Messi Receives Emotional Tribute from Tennis Star
Tennis legend Roger Federer recently penned a tribute to Lionel Messi, who was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023. Messi had a remarkable year in 2022 as he led Argentina to win the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and won the Golden Ball award for his outstanding performance during the tournament.
In his tribute, Federer praised Messi's incredible skill and consistency over the years, saying that his awareness and anticipation on the pitch are almost beyond comprehension. Federer also spoke about the weight that athletes like Messi carry, both for their clubs and their countries.
Federer further reflected on the impact of Argentina’s World Cup victory and how it was celebrated by millions of fans in Buenos Aires and witnessed around the world. He expressed hope that Messi's unique creativity and artistry would continue to inspire future generations.
For Federer, Messi represents a new generation of Argentine players who can inspire future generations. He encourages everyone to watch Messi closely, as he may miss something incredible from the man of the moment.
Messi's Other Tributes
In addition to a touching written tribute, Messi recently received different tributes during CONMEBOL's celebration of the Argentina national team's World Cup victory in March.
The former Barcelona player was presented with replicas of the three trophies he won for his country over the past three years, the Copa America, the Finalissima, and the World Cup by South American footballing organization's president, Alejandro Dominguez.
However, the president's commemoration of the 35-year-old's achievements took an unexpected turn as an ornate scepter was handed to Messi by Dominguez.
Dominguez declared, "On behalf of South American football, and football from around the world, today we give to you leadership and command of world football." The No 10 received the baton, examining its craftsmanship for a few moments, while his teammates in the audience applauded the gesture.
A Statue of Honor
Later, Messi was presented with the evening's greatest honor, a life-sized statue that will stand in CONMEBOL's museum in Paraguay alongside other South American footballing greats like Diego Maradona and Pele. Messi's teammates were also recognized during the organization's 'Night of the Stars', as CONMEBOL handed out replica trophies, individual recognitions, and miniatures of Messi's commemorative statue.
Messi was grateful for the honors bestowed upon him and made it clear there was one trophy he prized above all else. "I am fulfilled by this," he said as he caressed his World Cup trophy on stage. "It was what I was missing. Thank God I can achieve everything in football. [And] thanks to all my teammates for these beautiful gifts they gave me."
Aside from these huge tributes, Messi has recently gotten his name chanted by Barcelona fans in hopes that he would make his return to the team. As Messi's contract with Paris Saint-Germain nears its end, rumors are circulating about his future.
So far, nothing has been confirmed, but there have been reports of Barcelona's chief being in talks with the player. What's more, Messi previously expressed a strong preference to continue his football career in Europe.
For now, it's clear that Messi's impact goes beyond the world of football, transcending all sporting boundaries.