Lionel Messi's first words after Argentina's World Cup triumph revealed as Leandro Paredes recalls 'incredible hug' with his captain

Paredes Lionel MessiGetty Images
  • Paredes was the first to hug Messi
  • The forward was on his knees
  • His first words after winning World Cup revealed

WHAT HAPPENED? The Argentine skipper was standing near the halfway line as Gonzalo Montiel walked up to take the winning penalty in their final shootout against France. Once the defender converted from the spot, Messi sat down on his knees as he finally realised his long-cherished dream of winning the World Cup with Argentina. Paredes, who was standing next to him during the penalty shootout, was the first one to congratulate and hug Messi after capturing their third global crown.

WHAT THEY SAID: In an interview with Sofi Martinez Mateos, Paredes has revealed what Messi's first words were after Argentina beat France in the World Cup final: "That hug with Messi, I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life. Turning around, seeing him on his knees and being the first to hug him as a World Champion was incredible. I yelled at him ‘We are World champions’ and he just told us ‘Thank you, thank you, I love you'”.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Paredes went to the World Cup without being 100 per cent due to "pain in my adductors, in the pubis" and he also suffered a hamstring injury. However, coach Lionel Scaloni had his back and encouraged him to give his best. And now, after being crowned a World Champion he wants to continue winning more trophies, with the next challenge being defending the Copa America title in 2024.

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"Winning is addictive. It was shown when I had to speak with Leo Scaloni after he won the Best [manager] award. I congratulated him and he said ‘Now we have to go for more'" he stated.


Leandro Paredes Argentina 2023Getty Imagesmessi world cup(C)Getty ImagesLionel Messi Leandro Paredes Argentina World Cup 2022Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? Paredes will return to Paris Saint-Germain after his loan spell with Juventus ended in June. Meanwhile, Messi is set to make his debut for Inter Miami in a Leagues Cup clash with Cruz Azul on July 21, having left PSG at the end of June.