Lionel Messi’s magical feet will get a pounding if Argentina win the 2018 World Cup.
Messi, 30, has agreed to walk over 40 miles from his hometown of Rosario to if he leads La Albiceleste to its first World Cup title since 1986 when they prevailed in Mexico.
Speaking ahead of Argentina’s friendlies with Russia and Nigeria in Moscow and Krasnodar in the next few days, Messi said that he will “go on foot to San Nicholas” if Jorge Sampaoli’s men life the World Cup trophy next summer.
What is all this about?
There is a religious pilgrimage in Argentina which begins in Rosario, Messi’s hometown, and ends at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Rosario in San Nicholas.
And although Messi said he would walk the 43-mile route to celebrate winning the tournament, his teammate Sergio Aguero joked that he would join the Barcelona star… and they’d run the length of the route.
The runners up from the 2014 tournament in Brazil will be looking to get over the final hurdle this time around but the entire nation is grateful for Messi to even have qualified.
In the final game of CONMEBOL qualifying the superstar scored a hat trick to seal Argentina’s spot at the World Cup after a tumultuous campaign.
It’s highly-likely that this will be Messi’s final chance to win a major trophy for Argentina. He has lost in four major finals — Copa America 2007, World Cup 2014, Copa America 2015 and Copa America Centenario 2016 — and reversed his decision to retire after the crushing defeat to Chile in 2016.
Messi seems to be banking on a little divine intervention to help him get Argentina over the line next summer.