Nuevo Culture

Latina Journalist Goes Viral for Getting ‘Romantic Looks’ from Lionel Messi — & She Responds

Sofi Martinez Mateos has interviewed Lionel Messi plenty of times before. In fact, Martinez Mateos first gained international notoriety for a viral moment before the Qatar 2022 World Cup Final. At that particular moment, she thanked Messi and told him that the happiness he had brought people was even more important than a possible World Cup win. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

The journalist, who works for ESPN and Argentina’s Televisión Pública, went viral once again for an interaction with Messi – this one taking place after the Argentinian’s eighth Ballon d’Or win. As Martinez Mateos was waiting for Messi to finish up an interview, people online pointed out supposed “romantic looks” between the Argentinian superstar and the journalist as he was speaking to others.

Messi was there with his wife Antonela Roccuzzo and their three children.

Martinez Mateos was quick to not just put an end to the speculation that there was anything romantic to the looks, but to call out the misogyny at the root of it, saying in Spanish to Despierta America,  “Leo has good vibes with a lot of journalists.” She then added that he smiles at journalists because he “likes them, or because of those good vibes.” And that, “The only difference is that I’m a woman, so they make a big deal out of it.”

She also added that it made her a little sad to see the headlines because the moment had nothing to do with romance. The journalist, who has interviewed most of the Argentinian World Cup-winning team for a series called Llave a la Eternidad (Key to Eternity) for Argentina’s Televisión Pública, added that Messi doesn’t really get nervous when she interviews him.

“I think he’s in a great moment in his career,” so “he’s happy that I’m going to interview him after winning his eighth Ballon d’Or,” and of course “he’s going to smile.”