(CNN Spanish) — Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, presented Lionel Messi with a traditional tunic of sorts as he presented him with the World Cup trophy after the victory over France on penalties in the final. On the stage next to Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, after Argentina’s historic victory on penalties over France, a smiling Messi received the cup on his shoulders and celebrated with it the lifting of the trophy together with his teammates. What is it and what does the cape mean?
It is about the bisht, also written as besht, a garment described by the Saudi daily Arab News as a traditional Arab long cape that men wear over their robes, worn for special occasions such as weddings, festivals, graduations and Eid. It is a formal garment of politicians, religious scholars and high-ranking people in Arab countries.
The word bisht is derived from the Persian: to go on the back, according to Arab News.
In statements to BrandHassan Al Thawadi, World Cup boss, said: “It’s our official clothing, for weddings, for official things, it’s a very important thing for us, not just in Qatar, in the Arab world, in the Gulf world in particular. It’s the best clothes.”
It is, then, a distinction of honor for Messi in Qatar.
The Argentine, upon receiving the cape and the cup, walked towards his teammates and with it raised the trophy for the photos that will be immortalized in history.
The outfit was so particular that searches for “Messi cape” skyrocketed around the world, according to Google Trends.
And in social networks the comments abounded, even the memes.
It was undoubtedly a strange moment for many since it is an unknown garment in the Western world, but it is perhaps very eloquent of the image that Qatar (besieged by reports of migrant workers killed and discrimination against minorities) wants to project before the planet by organizing the World.