Western world on fire after Leo Messi made to wear traditional Arab gown – But what does it symbolize?
This gesture, however, has not only left the fans, but also the western media divided.
Lionel Messi is a world-renowned football player, who has won the hearts of millions with his incredible skills on the pitch. His exceptional career had, until recently, just one thorn – a FIFA World Cup trophy.
Following his win in Lusail Stadium, Qatar, Leo Messi was draped in a traditional Arab gown by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, moments before he lifted the trophy. This gesture, however, has not only left the fans, but also the western media divided.
Messi’s black cloak is called a 'Beshth'. Arabian warriors wore it after a victory. It’s also worn by the royal family. King of Qatar honoured Messi as a sign of respect. Signifying Messi as a warrior who won for his country Argentina pic.twitter.com/TMStG6mo57
— Tallie Dar (@talliedar) December 18, 2022
While some fans were respectful of the ‘exclusive present’ given to Leo, others were upset that it ‘covered his Argentine jersey’ during the most important time of his career. Although the ceremonial cloak made him look like royalty, some found it to be uncomfortable.
In fact, a news outlet said Messi was ‘hijacked’ by being ‘made to wear a traditional Bisht cloak.’
Football journalist Gary Lineker, during celebrations, remarked that it was a ‘shame that they covered up Messi in his Argentina shirt.’ He, along with Alan Shearer, joked that they weren’t going to let him go without making him wear the piece of clothing.
I did think it was bizarre at first but the more I learned about it, the more it makes sense. This isn't sportswashing — it's simply appreciating a different culture.
Educate yourself and don't let yourself rush to judgment.
— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) December 19, 2022
What does the Bisht cloak symbolize?
While the gesture left millions ‘uneasy,’ the Bisht has a valuable significance in the culture of Qatar and is associated with Qatari royalty. The robe meant embracing him in this historic moment, and it was the nation’s way of dubbing Lionel Messi as the ‘king of football.’
A Bisht is worn by dignitaries at weddings and other formal occasions, and it was the host’s way of not just promoting their culture, but offering their respect to Leo Messi.
What are your views on this? Share in the comments bar below.