At the museum of the South American federation, a statue of Lionel Messi will be placed next to those of Pelé, his predecessor and a football legend.
Messi beat his Paris Saint-Germain teammate — and World Cup final rival — Kylian Mbappe to the men’s gong, with Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema having been the other contender to claim the prize.
The match on Thursday in Riyadh is set to pit Messi's Paris Saint-Germain against a select side made up of players from Ronaldo's new club Al Nassr and their Saudi rivals Al Hilal.
It was not supposed to be this way. Before the World Cup started, hopes were high in Argentina that Lionel Messi was set for a glorious swansong. The diminutive superstar with magic in his boots insisted he was in fine shape physically ahead of what he suggested would be his final tilt at World Cup success.