Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has claimed that his fans’ desire to see him with the World Cup trophy helped him break Cristiano Ronaldo’s Instagram record.

Lionel Messi scored seven goals and claimed three assists to help Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar last month. Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, only scored a group-stage penalty and failed to prevent Portugal from crashing out of the quarter-finals.

Messi’s image of lifting the World Cup became the most-liked post on Instagram. The PSG man edged out Cristiano Ronaldo, who previously held the record for the most-liked Instagram post by a sportsperson.

Speaking to Argentine outlet Infobae, Messi explained how the post garnered over 75 million likes to become the most-liked image on Instagram.

“I didn’t look for it either, because I wasn’t looking to be the most liked photo, far from it. But hey, there it is,” Messi said.

“It shows a little bit what people wanted to see me with that cup. I think that photo reached people. The truth is that very few comments I could read. It is very difficult. I had a million messages and it ended up blocking me. It was crazy,” he added.

Before the Barcelona legend came into the fight with a wrecking ball, Cristiano Ronaldo’s picture with Messi for a Louis Vuitton ad was the most-liked post by a sportsperson. The photo, which was posted on November 19, 2022, has thus far garnered 43.2 million likes.

Lionel Messi reveals why he kissed the World Cup before lifting it

Lionel Messi fell short in the 2014 World Cup final, with Germany’s Mario Gotze stealing the cup away with a stunning extra-time strike. In the 2022 final, Messi took matters into his own hands, making sure he was not left heartbroken the second time.

Argentina won the game 4-2 on penalties after it ended 3-3 at the end of extra time. Messi scored two goals before putting away his penalty in the shootout.

Before finally lifting the coveted trophy, Messi paused to kiss it. Speaking to Infobae, Messi admitted that he “needed” to do it after such a prolonged wait.

“The World Cup was calling me. It said to me ‘Here I am, come and grab me, now you can touch me’,” Lionel Messi said.

“I saw it shining there, it stood out in that beautiful stadium and I didn’t think about it, I went to kiss it because I passed by it. I needed it,” he added.

Messi also won the Golden Ball in Qatar, becoming the first-ever player to win the prestigious accolade twice (first in 2014).

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Edited by Sushan Chakraborty

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