Lionel Messi has been offered $1 million for the bisht he wore while lifting the World Cup on Sunday.
It’s the first time Messi has won the World Cup, solidifying his status as one of the greatest footballers of his generation.
The bisht symbolises wealth and royalty in Arab nations, with Qatar wanting to add an extra flourish to the trophy lift as the first Muslim nation to host a World Cup.
An Omari lawyer doesn’t want Messi to keep the robe, however. Ahmed Al Barwani, who is also a member of parliament in Oman, has offered the 35-year-old a huge cash sum to ensure it stays in the Middle East.
He posted to Twitter: “From the Sultanate of Oman I congratulate you for winning the World Cup Qatar 2022…
“The Arabic bisht, a symbol of chivalry and wisdom. I’m offering you a million dollars (£829,000) in return for that bisht.”
Messi alongside Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim and FIFA president Gianni Infantino. (Image Credit: Alamy)Al Barwani outlined his intentions with the robe during an interview with The National.
He was inside Lusail Stadium as Messi and his teammates celebrated a dramatic victory, stressing the importance of ‘commemorating’ a moment of pride.
He said: “I was at the stadium watching that moment live when the Emir of Qatar gave Messi the bisht.
“This moment told the world that we are here, and this is our culture, please know it well.
Messi in the bisht. (Image Credit: Alamy)”It will be displayed to commemorate that moment of pride, and to help us relive it, and to also remind us that we can (do anything).”
Messi wearing the bisht received criticism as it covered his Argentina jersey. Former Argentina defender Pablo Zabaleta covered the game for BBC Sport and could not hide his frustration.
He remarked: “Just why? There’s no reason to do that.” Qatari officials defended the decision, stressing it was a ‘regional celebration’ rather than one for Qatar.
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