Fans of Argentina, which won football’s ultimate prize in Qatar this month, lined up in Buenos Aires to get tattoos of victorious captain Lionel Messi and the World Cup trophy.
“For the next two weeks my (dates) are all about the World Cup,” tattoo artist Esteban Vucinovich told AFP in the capital.
“Some people have booked snake or skull tattoos, but they are changing it to Messi or the cup. I have two or three appointments a day,” he said.
Vucinovich said the most popular skin art was the trophy, followed by Messi and then goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who was crucial to the Albiceleste’s victory in the final against France.
Many fans have been inspired by the body art of Argentine players, such as Angel Di Maria, who recently got a World Cup tattoo on his right leg.
“As a thank you, I got a tattoo of Messi,” civil servant Nicholas Rechanik told AFP.
“It’s not just about Messi, it’s about the team that brought us our third World Cup and the years of work it took to make it happen.”
Before getting an image of Messi in the team’s blue and white striped jersey and kissing the indelible trophy on his left leg, Rechanik already had a likeness of another Argentine football icon: Diego Maradona.
“It’s the perfect representation of Argentine football and what it means to be Argentine,” he said.
Football fanatic Alma Ocampo, 20, decided to get the tattoo when, to everyone’s surprise, Argentina lost their first World Cup match to Saudi Arabia.
“When everyone was losing confidence, I decided…if Argentina wins, I’m going to get a tattoo on the Cup. So I did, and the date for the final is December 18, 2022,” she said, adding , “It hurts a little bit.”
PE teacher Ariel Sacchi has tattoos representing all five World Cups Messi has played in. In the middle is the picture of the Argentina captain kissing the trophy.
“I decided to get Messi because he brings the greatest joy to all Argentines,” Sacchi said.
However, not all tattoos are created equal, and many fans have been mocked on social media for getting the ink wrong: a fat-faced Messi or a misspelled name are all trending topics.