Europe 1 with AFP 6:52 p.m., December 25, 2022

They have Lionel Messi under their skin.

Or rather on the skin: since the coronation of their national football team at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Argentinians have been tattooing the image that has become emblematic of their idol kissing the World Cup trophy.

Argentina's victory against France (3-3 aet, 4-2 on pens) in the World Cup final sparked considerable excitement throughout the country.

And one of the consequences of this effervescence is in the multiplication of tattoos in reference to Lionel Messi but also to other highlights that occurred during the competition.

"The next two weeks, I only have tattoos concerning the World Cup. Some had already made an appointment to get snakes or skulls, but they changed to Messi or the Cup. I already have two or three meetings a day on my schedule," Esteban Vucinovich, nicknamed "Tebi Cobra," told AFP.


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Trophy, Messi and... Martinez

According to this tattoo artist from Buenos Aires, the World Cup trophy is the most in demand, followed by Messi of course, but also by goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez who was decisive in the final against France in extra time and in the penalty shootout (3-3 ap, 4 tab to 2).

These supporters are inspired by the examples given by certain Argentine players, freshly crowned world champions, such as Angel Di Maria who has recently sported a World Cup tattoo on his right leg.

See this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ángel Di María (@angeldimariajm)

"On the skin for eternity. Thank you very much my friend. You said it when we won the Copa America (in 2020). I had saved the other leg for this occasion. It was written. Go l 'Argentina!', wrote Di Maria on her Instagram account in caption of a photo of the tattoo and its author.

"I got a Messi tattoo as a sign of thanks," civil servant Nicolás Rechanik told AFP.

"It not only represents who Messi is but also the team that brought us a third World Cup and all the years of effort to achieve that goal."

Before having Messi on his left leg wearing the white jersey striped with blue and kissing the Golden Cup, he had already had a tattoo of the other idol of Argentine football, Diego Maradona, crowned world champion in 1986 and died in 2020 .

But other supporters opted for more difficult tattoos to wear.

This is how an Argentina fan even decided to get a tattoo of Emiliano Martinez's gesture after the World Cup final.

If his gesture where he places the trophy for best goalkeeper at the level of his private parts had a lot of trouble passing on to many people.

See this post on Instagram

A post shared by Roman Martinez (@romanmartinez_)


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"The Greatest Joy"

"It's a perfect representation of what Argentine football is and what Argentina is for us," he summed up.

Alma Ocampo, a 20-year-old girl who has been playing football since she was a child, decided to get a tattoo when Argentina surprisingly lost their first World Cup match against Saudi Arabia (2-1).

"When everyone was losing confidence, I said to myself that I would get the Cup tattooed if Argentina won it. So I did it, with the date of December 18, 2022", that of Argentina's third world title, specifies she.

Ariel Sacchi, a physical education teacher, tattooed a playing card representing five World Cups, as many as those disputed by Messi, with the Argentine superstar in the center kissing the trophy.

"I decided to get a tattoo of Leo (Messi) because he gave all of us Argentinians the greatest joy. I think he deserved it (the world title) and after failing so many times, he finally got it," said the latter.

But not all tattoos are equal: on social networks, people laugh at the one who wears a Messi that is a little too thick or another with a mistake in the name of goalkeeper Emiliano "Dibu" Martinez.