The government of the South American nation of Argentina is reportedly preparing a massive tribute for Lionel Messi and the rest of the Argentina national team after they won their third world title in Qatar last December.
Led by the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, La Albiceleste ended a three decade wait for another world title by seeing off 2018 winner France in a very tense final. The match has now been described as the best World Cup final that has ever been played in the history of the tournament.
Messi went toe-to-toe with Kylian Mbappe, the young player of the 2018 tournament and the man who is touted to be his heir in football. Messi was on top for longer but Mbappe picked up and in a blistering 20 minute spell (including extra time) to keep his Paris Saint-Germain teammate on his toes.
Argentina eventually went on to win the game in a repeat of the Spain 2010 title run. Both nations won their titles after losing the first game of their respective tournaments and survived scares in the knockout rounds to claim gold.
Messi is now poised to receive all of football’s most coveted accolades following his showing as the leader of the world champions but his home country still has big plans for him.
However, the honour is something that not even Messi expects.
According to an Argentine news outlet La Nacion, the South Americans have seen inflation in the country hit close to an eye-watering 100 per cent in 2022 alone.
The government is considering creating two ‘higher denomination notes’ in the form of 5,000 and 10,000 pesos and Silvina Batakis, Argentina’s former minister of economy, claimed that World Cup winner Messi could be the face of the new notes.
“Today, I heard the [Argentina] president [Alberto Fernandez] say in an interview that other banknote commonalities are being analysed,” Silvia Batakis was quoted as saying in a radio interview.
“One cannot hide the issue of inflation behind a bill, so I understand that it is something that is being discussed within the executive branch together with the central bank.
“Banco Nacion [Bank of the Argentine Nation] makes an effort, but for that logistics, it is good to have those bills…
“There I would play with something that has to do with the hearts of Argentines, which is a symbolic bill, that has to do with the World Cup, for example.
“I would totally make a [Lionel] Messi ticket.”