Lionel Messi had a champion's reception at PSG 0:27
(CNN Spanish) -
(CNN Spanish) -
A family from La Plata, province of Buenos Aires, traveled with all their hopes to Qatar to support La Scaloneta.
But she never imagined that the world champions would go around the Olympics with the trophy that they now keep at home.
And the millions of people who turned Messi's photo into the most liked in the history of Instagram would least have imagined, that the trophy that the crack was holding was not one of the FIFA cups, but a very Argentine replica.
It seems as incredible a story as the epic final that Argentina played against France, where the Albiceleste were crowned world champions after 36 years.
It was not easy for this family to get their handcrafted replica onto the playing field.
When Paula Zuzulich and Manuel Zaro passed the heavy trophy made by an artisan from Greater Buenos Aires through the scanner, a police officer told them that they could not go through.
Then, they put the cup in a bag and, once the game was over, the trophy entered the field in the hands of a relative of Leandro Paredes, who was asked to take the cup for the player to sign. according to the protagonists.
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CNN spoke with the family, although due to the amount of repercussions surrounding their story, they decided not to speak to the media anymore.
But before they did, they did it in an audiovisual report with the Clarín newspaper, where they told their journey in more depth.
The trophy spent more time on the court the second time they were asked for the cup to take more photos with it.
The family said they spent 45 minutes not knowing when their glass would return and even thought they would not get it back.
“Our only intention was to celebrate with a drink and if we managed to get the players to sign it for us, much better.
But we never force or ask Messi to lift it, much less," they told CNN.
In fact, as they confirmed to Clarín, the couple did not accept money in exchange for the trophy, since they wanted it to stay in La Plata, their hometown.
How did the handmade cup come into the hands of Messi?
According to the FIFA website, the original trophy can only be touched by a "very select group of people", including previous tournament winners and heads of state.
Before, the winning country kept the cup for four years, but since the 2006 World Cup in Germany they decided that they only have it during the award ceremony and then they give them an official FIFA replica.
Therefore, after the awards ceremony, the players were supposed to parade with the “original” replica of the federation cup.
In this regard, a representative of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) told CNN that they cannot confirm if the one that gave the Olympic lap was a FIFA replica or the family's replica.
Additionally, CNN has contacted FIFA for comment on the matter.
Still awaiting an answer.
After the main award ceremony, the fans and the media waited for a long time until the champions went to where the Argentine fans were.
"I suppose at some point (Messi) decided to approach the fans with what he thought was the trophy...", Shaun Botterill, the Getty photographer in charge of taking the most liked photo in history, told CNN from Instagram, according to Meta.
In the midst of the festivities, Ángel Di María, surrounded by FIFA security agents, addressed the captain with a glass identical to the one Messi had just given the Olympic lap.
As recounted in the Clarín report, Di María told his partner that this cup was not a replica of FIFA.
"He (Messi) was with the cup like this (on top) and I was with the cup and I had a security (element) and a security girl, I was with the cup, and they told me: 'Please, don't give it to anyone'.
I looked at the glass and looked over there, and of course, he was with the other glass.
And they told me: 'No, the original is the one you have.
That's why we are with you.
And that cup is not the original,'” said Ángel Di María in the Clarín report.
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CNN contacted the Clarín photographer, Fernando de la Orden, who witnessed that moment which he defines as "chaos."
The playing field was filled with relatives, until he saw the captain on the shoulders of "Kun" Agüero holding the cup.
Although he told CNN that it was forbidden to enter the field of play, De la Orden entered anyway and approached just as Di María came.
At that moment, Messi had left Agüero the handmade cup and Di María told the captain that they had been going around with a cup that was not.
The photographer told CNN that he remembers Messi laughing with the Noodle, without leaving his surprised face.
Fernando de la Orden told CNN that another of the coincidences in this story was when he took some photos of a girl made up and dressed as the Albiceleste.
When she passed her contact to the mother of the minor to send her the photos of her, she told him that the cup with which Messi turned around was a replica that belonged to her family.
How was the “made in Argentina” cup made?
"The reality is that I never imagined that one of our cups would be held by Messi and that it would be the most viralized photo," Eliana Pantano, the artisan who made the trophy, told CNN.
When she saw the image of the captain on television, she and her husband looked at each other in disbelief.
That same day she realized that this was one of her works, after having recognized it from the details.
"It's something incredible, because first it fills us with pride and personal and family satisfaction," she told CNN about what she felt in that unforgettable moment.
In a workshop in Llavallol, in the south of Greater Buenos Aires, the artisan and her family work to ensure that "people can have a piece of what soccer itself is."
In 2003, when Boca won the Copa Libertadores, Eliana Pantano's dream was to have that trophy in her house.
Later, she recreated the cup and it was so similar to the original that the club's museum manager asked her to leave it in her exhibition.
No two identical pieces come out of his workshop.
Eliana told CNN that her trophies are not mass-produced or die-produced, but are a "work of art" as they are hand-sculpted pieces with all their details.
Even making a trophy from scratch can take anywhere from one to two weeks.
And although all her glasses pass through her hands, her brother, her husband and three of her friends are the team that has always been with her.
Photo: Eliana Pantano
To make the trophy, he used epoxy resin, quartz, metallic bath, handmade painting and lacquer.
The only thing that is not done by hand is the engraving of all the champions on the base of the cup.
Pantano told CNN that Paula and Manuel did not contact her directly, but rather purchased the cup through a client of the artisan.
In October, this merchant had placed an order for two glasses to keep in stock.
Due to a series of problems, Eliana was behind in the order, but she was confident that it would arrive safely for the World Cup.
On November 8, she delivered the cup to her client from La Plata and sold it for approximately US$250 to US$300.
What began as a family adventure ended up being one of the best experiences in the life of this family from La Plata and one of those World Cup anecdotes that will be remembered forever in sports history books.
Gold, quartz or metal, the World Cup now belongs to Argentina and to Leo Messi's Scaleneta.
Lionel MessiArgentina national team