Stars align for Lionel Messi


Argentina won their third World Cup on Sunday in an extraordinary fashion, beating France 4-2 in a penalty shootout after Lionel Messi scored twice in a 3-3 draw that featured a hat-trick for Kylian Mbappe as the holders recovered from 2-0 down after 80 minutes.

It was an incredible night of drama and fluctuating fortunes, delivering one of the all-time great finals to cap a wonderful tournament. Also present at the venue in Qatar to witness Argentina’s historic win were Pakistani and Bollywood stars, many of whom shared glimpses of the behind-the-scenes happenings on their social media handles. 

From Sajal Aly and Humayun Saeed to Deepika Padukone and Kartik Aryan, several kept their fans updated and entertained on Instagram.

Kicking off the world cup, Bollywood style

Actor Deepika Padukone unveiled the FIFA World Cup trophy alongside Iker Casillas, before the final match. Pictures of the actor and the former Spanish goalkeeper saw her donning a white shirt, topped with a statement jacket. She paired it with a black tulle skirt and high-heeled boots. Deepika walked to the field of the Lusail Stadium alongside Iker, who held the golden trophy. Deepika is the ambassador of the luxury brand Louis Vuitton, which made the trophy case for the prestigious Jules Rimet award. 

Actor and dancer Nora Fatehi gave an electrifying live performance at the closing ceremony ahead of the match. Nora joined Balqees, Rahma Riad and Manal to perform their song, Light The Sky. She opted for an embellished black dress, adorned with frills and paired it with black stockings and heels to elevate the all-black look. Taking the centrestage, she crooned in Hindi and left Indian fans in awe. 

And in one of the greatest crossovers of all time, celebrated England player Wayne Rooney sat down with Bollywood’s King Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, to talk about football, Bollywood and the actor’s upcoming offering, Pathaan. “Who is Pathaan? Is he similar to anyone in football?” Rooney asked the Dilwale actor. “I’m not saying this because you are here,” Shah Rukh quipped, “Honestly I will tell you who Pathaan is. Pathaan is the guy you call at the last minute when you are all tied up and you can’t find a solution.”

Comparing his upcoming character to the Manchester United striker, the Kal Ho Naa Ho star added, “For me, if you don’t mind me saying, if Pathaan is to be equated to any footballer in the world, before or after or later, it will always be you. You are the tough guy.” He added, “You can’t get a goal and you know the guy who is going to get it for you when you are in trouble, when you need a break, when you need a victory, who are you going to call? ‘Mr Wayne Rooney.'” The duo later struck Shah Rukh’s famous pose as well. 

Local stars cheer on Argentina

Humayun shared videos from the field, cheering on Argentina and Messi from the crowd. Mehwish Hayat, who was present at the venue with Sajal and Humayun,  rubbed shoulders with Kartik, and shared a video with the Bollywood actor on her Instagram Stories. “So who’s going to win tonight?” she asked him. After a brief pause, Kartik replied, “Umm, Argentina.” Kartik was rooting for France and shared a video from the stadium to his Instagram handle ahead of the match. “Bucket List – check. Go France!” he captioned it. He later shared a photo of Messi wearing a crown and called him “Shehzada (Prince),” in his caption.

Mehwish, on the other hand, evidently supporting the winning team, had also shared a selfie with the one and only, David Beckham. She called it the “Selfie of the year,” on her Instagram. Mehwish, Sajal, Humayun, Samina Humyun and Sana Shahnawaz also struck a pose with Kartik, who was beaming with joy. 

Humayun shared highlights from the match on his Insta Stories and he seemed pretty excited. “What a match! Ouf, Argentina deserves victory!” he wrote in one of them.

All eyes on Messi

The match concluded with a win-win for Argentina, with the crowd erupting into tears of joy as he lifted the coveted trophy. Among the ample supporters, who had patiently waited for Messi to win the biggest accolade in football, was his wife, model Antonela Roccuzzo. Roccuzoo, who has been married to Messi for five years, was present at every match, lauding her husband along the sidelines. Pictures of the couple from the victory celebrations went viral, too. 

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