Yes, Lionel Messi won the Fifa World Cup. Yes, the image of him atop his friend Sergio Aguero’s shoulders with the World Cup aloft will become an iconic sports image. In those three weeks in Qatar, Messi created records and gave us a glimpse of his genius.
For me though, his three-word takedown of Wout Weghorst after Argentina’s quarterfinal win over the Netherlands brought a smile and many a chuckle. Football shithousery at its finest.
“Que miras bobo?” (What are you looking at, idiot?) might seem a tame insult compared to F-bombs and other choice expletives we see athletes drop at every match. But in my opinion, there are three reasons why “que miras bobo” works just as well and to great comedic effect.
- Wout Weghorst is a giant. Messi is not. So the sight of a 5’7” Messi staring down a 6’6” Weghorst and calling him a dummy is hilarious.
- You rarely see Messi angry. You must have seen him smiling, laughing, crying but angry? Not very often. You cannot help but do a double take while watching the video for the first time. Is it even real?
- And now to the pièce de résistance of the put down: bobo. Without bobo, the insult is like Messi’s career without the World Cup, incomplete. It is what turns a run-of-the-mill tough-talk to the patronising put down it is.