This is the photo that will grace the front pages of newspapers around the world on Monday.
Lionel Messi, World Cup at arm's length, finally hands the trophy that was fleeing him, the best player in the history of this sport.
But the star of Argentina and PSG, crowned after a legendary final won on Sunday against the Blues, is not dressed in the same way as the rest of his partners, overjoyed behind him on the podium. formal.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or player wears what looks like a transparent black cape on his back, over the jersey of his national team.
A suit received moments earlier, as the striker, the last to stand on the podium to receive the trophy as captain of his team, passes between Fifa President Gianni Infantino and the Emir of host country Qatar. of the competition, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
On the video, we see that the head of state of this Gulf country puts the garment, close to his, on his back.
The player seems surprised and perplexed, as applause is heard coming from the stands and Infantino himself salutes the initiative.
But Lionel Messi lets himself go, and takes the Cup with a smile before joining his teammates who are waiting for him to celebrate.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the one who was named best player of the tournament then got rid of it to dress in an Argentinian jersey sporting a brand new third star.
But this "cape" worn by Lionel Messi has a strong meaning.
It is a bisht, a traditional Arab coat worn by men most often for ceremonies.
It is also associated with royalty.
A strong symbol, as this 2022 edition of the World Cup is the first to be organized in an Arab country.
By making Lionel Messi wear this garment to make him lift the cup, a completely unusual initiative in a World Cup, Qatar intends to underline the specificity of this World Cup.
A demonstration of soft-power, in short.
“As a Qatari, I am very proud, very happy with what we have done, rejoiced the president of PSG Nasse Al-Khelaïfi at the microphone of beIN Sports.
We showed the whole world that we are a country, that we are good people and not bad.
The organization, the infrastructure, the security also in Qatar, the supporters, the training facilities, everything, I am very proud of my country.
I'm sure it's the best World Cup in history.