Former Uruguayan international, Diego Lugano, has claimed that FIFA helped Lionel Messi and Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Messi, 35, won the Golden Ball of the tournament after scoring seven goals and registering three assists.
Argentina, meanwhile, was awarded five penalties during the World Cup tournament, four of which Messi converted.
However, Lugano believes that Argentina was helped by FIFA due to Messi’s global popularity.
“That they [FIFA] gave him [Messi] help is no doubt. Argentina had its merit but of the 5 penalties, 4 I think no one has any doubt that they were not,” Lugano told Futnbl por Carve TiaDiaria, Lugano.
“They were totally forced, that is the reality. But that’s to the credit of Messi, who moves a lot worldwide.”
He added, “You see [Mike] Tyson in the Messi shirt, you see Tiger Woods, you see Roger Federer. Do you think that FIFA does not see that and it does not work for them? The merit of Messi and later also the merit of Argentina, who knew how to take advantage of that.”