Lionel Messi has offered his thanks to Argentina teammate Nicolas Otamendi after the centre-back revealed on social media that he has commissioned a special tattoo to mark their shared moment of glory at the World Cup.
Otamendi, who played every minute of every game for Argentina in Qatar, unveiled the latest addition to his extensive collection of body art on Instagram: a large depiction of Messi touching the World Cup for the first time after the Albiceleste's dramatic penalty victory over France in the final.
Along with the three words, "Enthusiasm, Conviction and Ambition", the accompanying script underneath reads: "How are they going to tell me that magic doesn't exist?", along with the date of the final in Lusail.
Otamendi shared a video of the abdominal tattoo being completed, which also includes artwork of the two other trophies Argentina have won in the past few years, the Finalissima and the Copa America.
Nicolás Otamendi has dedicated his latest set of tattoos to Lionel Messi 🐐🏆🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/eaPnt2pOyi— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 31, 2023
Messi then shared the video on his own Instagram and wrote: "I've seen a lot of spectacular things that were made of me about the [World] cup, but that a colleague, a friend like Nicolas Otamendi gets this tattoo is something more than special."
The 35-year-old defender was quick to respond with gushing gratitude, adding: "The things you've seen are nothing compared to the things we see when playing alongside you. You are not only a whole country, you [also] are the history of this sport. I love you, my friend."
Otamendi isn't the only Argentina player to immortalise his World Cup triumph in tattoo form either, with several other members of the squad opting to embellish their bodies with ink-based reminders of their exceptional achievement.
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Angel Di Maria was among the first to go under the needle less than a week after the final, showing off a huge tattoo of the World Cup on his right knee along with three stars (one for each World Cup success), the Sun of May (taken from the country's flag) and a snippet of the architecture of the Lusail Stadium.
Leandro Paredes went for the straightforward option when it came to his post-World Cup ink by adding an image of the trophy to his lower body, complete with the date of the final.
Nicolas Tagliafico had an image of himself hoisting the trophy aloft indelibly added to his leg, which the Ajax left-back formally unveiled the month after the tournament.
¡Más tatuajes de los campeones del mundo! Nico Tagliafico, en la piel... para la eternidad. ¿Qué te parece? pic.twitter.com/XQk76JITaF— SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) January 3, 2023
Alejandro Gomez got several small tattoos on his calf, including one honouring compatriot Emiliano Martinez, the goalkeeper who produced several notably heroic saves to keep France at bay in the World Cup final.
Papu Gomez got tattoos of the World Cup trophy, his Argentina shirt, and THAT Emi Martínez save from the World Cup final 🇦🇷💙— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 7, 2023
(📸: papugomez_official/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/glDrCb5Xq3
Martinez himself followed suit with a large image of the World Cup located in the exact spot on his leg that the stopper used to thwart Les Bleus forward Randal Kolo Muani in the dying seconds of the match.
Emi Martinez with a new World Cup tattoo on the leg that he made 𝐓𝐇𝐀𝐓 save with! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/qDfQRfchQM— Eurosport (@eurosport) December 26, 2022
According to Marca, Messi himself also added a brand-new World Cup tattoo to his portfolio recently with a "Five of Cups" tableau on his mercurial left leg. The image is taken from the Spanish deck of cards and is believed to be a cryptic celebration of the incredible run of success the PSG forward has enjoyed with his national team over the past few years.