March 21 (UPI) — If you thought Lionel Messi had a boot up on his opponents before, wait until you see his new secret weapon.
The TV and movie star was recently a guest on Pronto in Argentina, along with actress Reese Witherspoon. Host Barbie Simons asked her to send an inspirational message to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. Simons referenced Winfrey’s speech at the 2018 Golden Globes, when she became the first black woman to win the Cecil B. DeMile Award.
“Messi, this is the thing, you already know this. You go deep. You go deep. You find the strength inside yourself,” Winfrey said. “And Messi: Be a warrior.”
Oprah Winfrey, recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award, appears backstage during the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 7 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Witherspoon added that Messi is her son’s favorite player and that he owns several of his jerseys.
Winfrey and Witherspoon were promoting their new movie A Wrinkle In Time.
Messi’s Argentina squad lost to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins on June 14 in Moscow, Russia. Argentina battles Russia at 4 p.m. local time on June 16 at Spartak Stadium in Moscow. Messi’s national team is currently ranked No. 4 in the world, behind Germany, Brazil and Cristiano Ronaldo‘s Portugal squad.
The Germans also knocked out Argentina in the quarterfinals of the 2006 World Cup and the 2010 World Cup.
“I imagine being able to be in that game, to win it, to be able to raise the cup,” Messi recently said on the Argentine television show La Cornisa. “It’s the dream I have always had and every time a World Cup comes it gets even stronger.”
“I want to tell people that I hope it’s a great World Cup for us, that my wish is the same as all of you and that we can live something similar to 2014, which was an unforgettable experience, and that the result is similar but this time raising the cup is everyone’s dream.”
Argentina has a friendly against Italy at 3:45 p.m. Friday at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. Messi has 61 goals, 37 assists and 123 caps in his international career for Argentina.