Watch: Messi under the sea? Fan pays unique tribute to Argentine star ahead of Fifa World Cup final

Lakshadweep-native Mohammed Swadikh and friends keep promise to install cutout in Arabian Sea if the team made it to the final


Anu Warrier

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Published: Sat 17 Dec 2022, 9:49 PM

After being in the middle of a Kerala river, Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi’s cutout has now found a new location: 100 feet underwater in the Arabian Sea.

Mohammed Swadikh, a native of Kavaratti islands in India’s union territory of Lakshadweep, made an announcement on Facebook before the Argentina-Croatia semi-final in the Qatar Fifa World Cup. A die-hard Argentine fan, he promised to install Messi’s cutout in the Arabian Sea if the team made it to the final.

Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 in the semi-final to reach the final against France. And Swadikh kept his word. “As promised, we are taking him to the sea to enjoy with the colourful fish,” he wrote on Facebook, sharing the photos of taking the huge cutout in a boat, with the help of his friends.

Later, he shared a video of it being installed at least 100 feet under water, amid coral reefs and fish, on social media platforms.

Swadikh told local media that Argentinean fans in Kavaratti had already installed a huge cutout of their star on the island. “But we prepared this specially, using waterproof materials to install under the sea.”

The team’s effort didn’t go in vain. The news has been widely covered by the international media, including Turkish and Spanish websites.

It’s not the first time a fan-act by Indian football lovers getting international attention. Argentine fans in Pullavoor, Kozhikode in Kerala, erected a huge cutout of Messi in the middle of a local river before the World Cup, following which fans of Portuguese striker Ronaldo and Brazil’s Neymar Jr installed bigger cutout.

After his team’s loss against Croatia in the quarter-final match, Neymar thanked his fans through Instagram. “Love comes from all parts of the world. Thank you so much Kerala, India,” the Brazilian superstar wrote, sharing a photo of a dad-son duo in No.10 jerseys standing in front of a huge cutout of himself.


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