Lionel Messi had many current footballers rooting for him to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup; one of them was former rival Diego Godin. The former Atletico de Madrid defender has faced the Argentine on various occasions.
Despite the rivalry, the Uruguayan defender was happy to see the Paris Saint-Germain star lift the trophy that had long eluded him in his career. Messi suffered heartbreak in 2014 and finally reached the promised land on his last chance.
“Seeing him win made me happy because, in Uruguay, people empathized a lot with this team,” Godin told Argentine media outlet Ole. “It is obvious that we are rivals and we always want to beat Argentina, but this team generated something different. For the coach, of whom they speak wonders to me, for how they declared and, precisely, for seeing Messi being a man on the field, playing the World Cup of his life and with the team on his shoulder.
“The matches were very exciting, suffered, and we like that better at the Río de la Plata. In Uruguay, everyone wanted Argentina to win because of Messi.”
With a World Cup now in his trophy cabinet, Messi has earned the GOAT status that some denied because he lacked that trophy. Godin noted a different side of the former FC Barcelona star that allowed him to reach this feat.
“It is part of that role that I was feeling,” Godin continued. “We saw him viscerally, the most human Messi that could be seen. And that’s because of how he felt in the group. We saw him lead, something that was demanded of him here in Argentina, and his best version of him came out.”
Messi now has to focus on the remainder of his career, as he’ll become a free agent in June. The World Cup winner will need to decide where he’ll play next season, as PSG and Inter Miami appear to be the likely destinations.