Lionel Messi presented with statue that will be placed next to Diego Maradona & Pele in CONMEBOL museum

  • Argentine icon being immortalised
  • Savoured global glory at Qatar 2022
  • Has international honours he craved

WHAT HAPPENED? The Argentina international, who inspired his country to global glory at Qatar 2022, is being immortalised in the official museum of South American football alongside fellow legends Diego Maradona and Pele. Messi has also been presented with replicas of the World Cup and Finalissima trophies that he has helped the Albiceleste to collect over the course of a memorable 12 months. The 35-year-old, who recently netted his 800th goal, has found the target on 99 occasions for Argentina and could become a centurion when facing Curacao on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi World Cup Finalissima trophyGetty

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi said of seeing his achievements recognised once again: “I had never dreamed or thought about this. My dream was to enjoy what I liked when I was little, to be a professional soccer 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.”

WHAT NEXT? Messi – who remains on the books of Paris Saint-Germain for now but is seeing a return to Barcelona or a possible move to MLS as a free agent speculated on - added on landing the one major trophy that had eluded him prior to a historic tournament in the Middle East: “We are living a very special and beautiful moment, getting a lot of love. It was time for a South American team to win the World Cup again.”

Where should Lionel Messi play next season?

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Where should Lionel Messi play next season?

  • 7%PSG
  • 58%Barcelona
  • 8%Inter Miami
  • 18%Saudi Arabia
  • 10%Other
141730 Votes