Home Sports The significance of the bisht worn by Lionel Messi

The significance of the bisht worn by Lionel Messi

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The World Cup in Qatar was a real feast for the eyes, even for those people who traditionally do not follow football. The epic ride of the Moroccan national team, which even made it to the semi-finals, had instilled in millions of fans the conviction that, for the first time, the World Cup would be won by an African national team

Such an important event not only offered a sensational sporting spectacle, but also gave rise to heated debates and controversy, to irate and provocative comments by some commentators, even on issues not directly related to the game. Even before the tournament began, many voices were raised in a vibrant protest denouncing the inhuman working conditions to which some workers in Qatar were subjected, in particular all those workers who had to deal with the construction of the stadiums, and who in some cases even lost their lives. 

Waves of protests 

The World Cup continued to be the talk of the town several days after the final, played at the end of December between France and Argentina and won by the South Americans, who had not won a World Cup since 1986. At the centre of the controversy ended up being the bisht, the cape that Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani placed on the shoulders of Lionel Messi, Argentina’s captain and authentic dragger of his national team towards the final victory. 

During the final prize-giving ceremony, the iconic man of the Argentine national team therefore lifted the World Cup while wearing the Bisht, creating a singular contrast between the blackish transparencies of the cape and the white and blue colours of the Argentine jersey. In the hours that followed, the cape called Bisht (which few had heard of) suddenly ended up at the centre of heated controversy in every corner of the world, especially in the West, where it was even interpreted by some as an emblem of political subjugation towards Qatar. 

But this very delicate cloak, which was used by Bedouins in the desert, has always been used to give a kind of distinction to the person wearing it, to communicate to the world that that person is special, different from others. In the past it was given to soldiers and servicemen who had proved their valour in battle, while in more modern times it is used at weddings, ceremonies, festivals and special occasions. 

It was therefore not a gesture of submission, quite the contrary. The Emir of Qatar wanted to pay homage to Lionel Messi for his incredible performance on the pitch, thus suggesting that he is a truly unique and special player, probably the strongest of all time. Messi’s figure with the bisht, indeed, is certainly not without a decadent charm that goes well with the epicness of a World Cup, and is perhaps the culmination of a unique and spectacular tournament. 

The Aesthetic Meaning 

From a communicative point of view, this was certainly an exceptional stunt, even without considering all the controversy that ensued. By wearing a suit belonging to the traditional culture of the host country, the emir consigned to history the image of a man unlike any other, capable of achieving truly exceptional sporting merits and personal goals, and also bestowing on him a certain obscure elegance, a subtle and mysterious charm that will be perceived by all those who will observe the photos and videos of the ceremony, even years later. Sporting passion is also built in this way, through live events charged with meaning (also aesthetic) and extremely engaging, especially for the public. 

It is the same strategy employed with extreme success by online portals dedicated to sports betting, which continue to propose extremely innovative game modes capable of involving users ever more deeply, giving a completely different tone to their passion for sport. 

Within the online betting sites, in addition to an enormous variety of websites where one can place one’s bet legally, safely and quickly, there are in fact special sections that explain the functioning of the most interesting game modes, such as live betting. These betting modes are so enthralling that the player, even if he is at home or with friends, will almost feel like he is on the field, together with his favourite players. 

The offer of betting sites is so wide that any user, within a few minutes, will surely be able to find a site suited to his or her specific needs, and capable of completely satisfying all expectations. 

A random gesture, made at the right time and in the right place, can radically change the way people perceive an event, even years later, setting it in history forever.

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Christopher Stern
Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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