Sport

Why was Lionel Messi wearing a robe during the World Cup winners ceremony?

Messi magic helps Argentina win World Cup 2022 against reigning champions France
FIFA World Cup 2022, BBC One

Argentina won the Qatar 2022 World Cup and Lionel Messi lifted the iconic trophy while wearing a traditional robe.

During the presentation ceremony, FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani placed a black and gold robe on Messi.

This is called a bisht - a traditional cloak that has been worn in the Arab world for thousands of years.

This isn't an everyday piece of clothing, as a bisht is worn for special occasions like a wedding, while royal family members and the wealthy adorn it as a status symbol.

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"The bisht has been the choice of formal wear for politicians, religious scholars and high-ranking individuals in Arabian Gulf countries, Iraq and countries north of Saudi Arabia," according to Arab News.

Lionel Messi of Argentina was presented with a traditional robe by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al ThaniPhoto by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

"This traditional flowing cloak is meant to distinguish those who wear it. People say no cloth can provide the distinction of a hand-tailored bisht. This is why the art of bisht tailoring is a skill handed down from generation to generation."

The action-packed final at the Lusail Stadium saw Messi's side go 2-0 up, before France came back to draw the game in dramatic fashion. The game finished 2-2 after 90 minutes.

In extra time, Messi put Argentina ahead once again but Mbappé responded 10 minutes later to secure a hat-trick and make the score 3-3. A penalty shootout would decide the match, where Argentina ultimately won 4-2, winning the World Cup for the third time and making them world champions for the first time since 1986.

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