WATCH: Lionel Messi stuns reporter as he reveals he wore a lucky ribbon against Nigeria
In one of the more touching stories of this World Cup, Lionel Messi has revealed he wore a lucky ribbon presented to him by a reporter as he fired Argentina into the second round of the competition against Nigeria on Tuesday.
Messi's wonderful first half goal inspired Argentina's revival after a disastrous 3-0 defeat in their second game in Russia, with their dramatic 2-1 win in their last Group D match setting up a second round clash against France on Saturday.
In a touching exchange after the Nigeria game, Messi was reunited with reporter Rama Pantorotto who had given him a ribbon his mother wears to bring luck and made a surprising revelation.
"My mum told me to give this to you, my mum loves you more than she loves me," Pantorotto told Messi ahead of the Nigeria game.
"I carry her red ribbon for good luck, if you want it, I can give it to you. It’s from my mum so make sure to keep it safe because you’re kind of jinxed now."
When Pantorotto met up with Messi after the Nigeria game, he asked him whether he remembered receiving the ribbon and as he turned down his sock, he confirmed he had worn it as a good luck charm.
A clearly moved Pantorotto looked to the sky as he spoke to his mother down the camera lens to say: "Mum, Messi wore it!"
Messi will doubtless continue to wear the ribbon for the rest of this World Cup and if Argentina go all the way to the final, they may have Mrs Pantorotto to thank.