June 14, 2024
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Brazil invites Lionel Messi to have his footprints immortalised at the Maracana Stadium

Adored by millions of fans across the world, Lionel Messi is one of the greatest to have ever played the sport. The Argentine’s legacy has transcended to an extent that the rival south American country of Brazil is now inviting him to leave his footprints at the iconic Maracana Stadium to ‘eternalise’ them. 

Adriano Santos, president of the Rio de Janeiro State Sports Superintendence, responsible for running the stadium wrote a letter to Messi through the Argentine FA (AFA) and extended the invitation. 

“Messi has already demonstrated his importance on and off the pitch. He is a player who has been at the highest level in the history of football for years,” read the letter. 

“And nothing could be more fitting than for the Maracana to also pay tribute to him. After all, Messi is a genius with the ball.”

This is not the first time that Messi has received such a proposal from Brazil. After La Albiceleste won Copa America last year, beating Brazil, the stadium extended the invitation. 

If Messi accepts the offer, he will join the illustrious list of players to have their footprints immortalized at the stadium. Pele, Ronaldo, Garrincha, Rivelino, Elias Figueroa, Eusebio, Dejan Petkovic, Sebastian Abreu and Franz Beckenbauer are the current members of Maracana’s Hall of Fame. 

Messi was instrumental in Argentina breaking a 36-year World Cup trophy drought. After Argentina suffered a shock defeat in the first match of the tournament against Saudi Arabia, it was Messi that galvanised his team and managed to extract the best out of them.

During the final, the little magician was one of the best players on the pitch as he found the back of the net twice and managed to successfully convert from the spot during the penalty kicks. 

In the end, Messi finished the tournament with seven goals and three assists, as well as the Golden Ball award, his second at the World Cup finals. 

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