What was Lionel Messi wearing during the World Cup trophy lift?

Lionel Messi capped his brilliant career by lifting the World Cup trophy on Sunday evening.

Messi scored twice as Argentina and France played out a 3-3 draw after extra time. He then helped his side win the penalty shootout.

But as he went to lift the trophy, he was pictured and filmed wearing an item of clothing over his Argentina shirt. The Athletic explains what that is.

What was Messi wearing when he lifted the trophy?

Messi was presented with the trophy by Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, and the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

But before he could collect the World Cup and lift it for the first time in his storied career, he was presented with an item of clothing by the Emir.

Messi had the item put around his shoulders and then wore it as he walked over to his Argentina team-mates.

He then wore the item of clothing, known as a bisht, for the trophy lift.


Lionel Messi is dressed in a bisht ahead of the trophy presentation. Photo: Getty Images

What is a bisht?

A bisht is an item of clothing that has been worn in the Arab world for thousands of years. It is a traditional men’s cloak.

They are usually worn on special occasions, like weddings and religious festivals.

There is a further meaning to the bisht. They are usually worn by secular officials or clergy. This means it has status as a garment and is tied to royalty, wealth and ceremonial moments. It is the equivalent of wearing black tie in the western world.

Is wearing local clothing common during World Cup trophy lifts?

Absolutely not.

Messi wearing the bisht will stand out when people look back at the history of World Cups. The 35-year-old, arguably the greatest player of all time, will forever be tied to the clothing — and therefore the region where he collected the trophy.

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