Lionel Messi relives his greatest moment a year on in Spirit of Sport
The latest episode of the Laureus-presented show marks the one-year anniversary of Argentina’s incredible World Cup win – and features exclusive interviews with Lionel Messi, coach Lionel Scaloni and defender Lisandro Martínez.
It been a year since Lionel Messi fulfilled his destiny of lifting the FIFA World Cup with Argentina in Qatar. After 12 months in which the football legend picked up the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award in Paris – and his national team were also recognised as Team of the Year – Messi joined Spirit of Sport for an exclusive interview to reflect on his finest moment.
Even after a 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening group game, Messi revealed that his confidence in the team never wavered: “I had faith in myself, my teammates, in all of us. I don’t know, there was just a feeling it would go our way, we were calm in that sense.”
Messi’s talismanic leadership may have proved decisive, but the story of Argentina’s success was as much about the team effort. There was the measured role played by the coach, Lionel Scaloni, who revealed his memories of arguably the greatest World Cup final ever – which Argentina won 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw.
“The way it unfolded, the way both teams played, without thinking it was a World Cup final – because sometimes you play with fear – but this was the complete opposite. It was an unforgettable match – both eternal and historic,” he said.
For defender Lisandro Martínez, the impact of the victory will stay with him forever: “To be honest, there couldn’t have been any more ingredients to the final,” he said. “As a world champion in your country, you can make so many millions of people happy.”
In this month’s episode, there is an emotional visit to Rio de Janeiro, where the winner of the 2022 IWC Drawing Competition was announced. The competition is part of IWC Schaffhausen’s long-standing commitment to Laureus Sport for Good, and sees young people in Laureus-supported programmes draw their own designs around a central theme. This year, that theme was ‘Time For The Planet’, with a focus on the environment and climate change.
15-year-old João Paulo – who attends the Bola Pra Frente programme in Rio – won with his design ‘Um Mundo Para Todos’, ‘A world for everyone’. His drawing shows people hugging each other around the planet to show togetherness without discrimination and prejudice.
He said: “What encouraged me most was the favela culture, the desire to show the favela to the world. People say that in favelas there are only bandits and guns, but that’s not true.”
Spirit of Sport also sits down with Laureus Academy member and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill for some quickfire questions, including who she considers the G.O.A.T. in any sport.
Finally, the episode also takes to the skies with Airspeeder, the electric flying car racing series pushing the innovation envelope as the next generation of motorsport; and we shine the spotlight on a father-daughter duo who completed a record-breaking bicycle journey around France for a good cause.