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    Why did Lionel Messi wear a robe during the World Cup final trophy presentation?

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    Lionel Messi inspired Argentina to their first World Cup triumph in 36 years as they beat France on penalties, in perhaps the tournament’s greatest ever final.

    The 35-year-old was again instrumental for his nation, bagging twice and opening the scoring in a penalty shootout they would win 4-2, with the game locked at 3-3 after 120 minutes of play.

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    But in the much anticipated trophy presentation, fans were caught off guard as Messi was presented with the prized World Cup trophy while decked out in a black robe.

    It caused plenty of confusion among onlookers around the world, as it remained draped over him while lifting the World Cup with his squad, subsequently covering his iconic shirt. So what exactly was the robe he was wearing?

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    The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was presented with the trophy by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of host nation Qatar.

    It was the Emir who presented him with the semi see-through black robe, trimmed in gold, which he would wear in the official trophy presentation and lift.

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    The robe is actually called a ‘bisht’, which is a traditional item of men’s clothing in the Arab world, often donned for special occasions and ceremonies such as weddings.

    There are royal connotations associated with the bisht, as they are often worn by secular officials or clergy.

    With this being the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world, it is of course the first time fans have seen the garment involved in the final celebrations. It is also the first time a traditional piece of clothing has been adorned by a World Cup-winning captain when lifting the trophy.

    Messi picked up Player of the Match and Player of the Tournament awards following the final whistle, to put the seal on a truly iconic tournament for himself.

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