Lionel Messi dressed in Arabic garb

Lionel Messi’s black robe at the World Cup handover caused a lot of astonishment. Before the 35-year-old lifted the golden trophy in the air after winning the final of the World Cup in Qatar against France (4-2 on penalties) on Sunday evening, the Argentinian was wrapped in a so-called bischt. Over the traditional sky blue and white kit, Messi wore the slightly see-through black cape with gold trims.

The traditional garment had previously been surprisingly put on by Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. FIFA President Gianni Infantino also helped with the action, which Messi seemed unenthusiastic about.

“You take away a big moment from the player. I didn’t like it either. You can do that later in the dressing room,” said former world champion Bastian Schweinsteiger on ARD: “I don’t think Messi himself was happy either. In my opinion, the action was unsuccessful.”

Former English professional Gary Lineker thought so too on the BBC broadcaster: “In a way, it’s shameful that they covered Messi in his Argentinian shirt.”

The bischt is a noble outer garment that is actually only worn on special occasions over another traditional male garment, primarily in the Arab world.

The garment is primarily worn by important people on the national holiday in Qatar.

Longtime Argentina international Pablo Zabaleta commented on the BBC: “Why? Just why? There was no reason to do that.”

Even other TV experts couldn’t understand why you couldn’t just let Messi celebrate in his jersey at the greatest moment of his career. “Using him there – ouch!” said former German international Tabea Kemme on MagentaTV.

Michael Ballack added: “It’s a bit unnerving. But it speaks to his decency that he keeps it on.”



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