The statue of Lionel Messi, a renowned footballer, will be exhibited in the museum of the South American federation, where it will be showcased alongside the statue of his predecessor and Brazil’s legendary player, Pele.
Last year, Messi, an Argentine forward, made a name for himself by guiding Argentina to triumph in the World Cup, emerging from the shadow of Diego Maradona. At the CONMEBOL headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, Messi posed next to the life-size statue of himself, holding a replica of the World Cup trophy, just before the Copa Libertadores draw on Monday.
In December, at the age of 35, Messi repeated the feat of the late Diego Maradona by leading Argentina to their first World Cup victory in 36 years, which held in Qatar.
“I had never dreamed or thought about this,” Messi said.
“My dream was to enjoy what I liked when I was little, to be a professional football player, to do what I always loved in this life. I had a very long road, many decisions and defeats, but I always looked ahead and wanted to go for a triumph, for a victory.
“I think that is the most important thing, to fight for your dreams, that everything is possible and to enjoy the game, which is the most beautiful thing there is.”
Argentina’s players and coach, Lionel Scaloni, also received miniature World Cup and Copa America trophies, which they won in 2021.
On Saturday, the Argentine Football Federation renamed the national team’s training facility after Messi, who scored his 800th career goal in a 2-0 friendly win over Panama the day before.
Messi has 99 goals for Argentina and would become the first player in history to reach 100 if he scores in Tuesday’s friendly against Curacao.
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