For soccer fans around the world, the excitement was palpable during the World Cup final in Qatar on Sunday. In a match that saw Argentina win the coveted cup against France after an action-packed match, which went into extra time and ended on a penalty shoot out, the Argentinian captain, Lionel Messi, led his team to victory.
While many were thrilled for Argentina — no doubt the pontiff himself, who is a huge soccer fan must have been happy to see his native country lift the trophy! — lots of fans were even more delighted to see the Argentinian captain end his international career as a world champion.
However, besides the country’s glory, there was something else far more inspiring about the match.
At the end of the game, the Argentinian fans erupted with joy and family members stormed onto the pitch to share their delight. Notably, Messi was seen holding his mother tightly before he was joined by his wife and childhood sweetheart Antonela Roccuzzo, and their children.
Messi is actually well known for his Catholic faith, and has a large tattoo of Jesus Christ on his arm. He’s also met with Pope Francis twice, who actually pointed out in an interview that while Messi was “very good,” he “isn’t God.”