One of the most indelible scenes following Argentina’s World Cup win was Lionel Messi embracing a woman in joy on the field and celebrating the win with her. At first many assumed it was his mother, but the real story is far better.
Everyone assumed this was his mom, but it was the national team cook! So awesome pic.twitter.com/ku1Zrvp6sR— total Barça (@totalBarca) December 20, 2022
We can confirm that this is indeed a chef from the Argentinian national team. Antonia Farías has been with Messi for over a decade as his personal chef. When he joins Argentina for the World Cup she travels along, cooking for the entire team and becoming a beloved member of the organization.
Little is known about Farías, and that’s what makes this so much more amazing. She isn’t someone in the forefront who makes headlines and garners attention — instead being a quiet part of the engine that pushed the team to soccer’s biggest prize. Her Instagram account is private, her social media quiet, instead doing her talking in the kitchen where she’s been preparing specially balanced meals for Messi over the last decade, and more decadent cheat meals following big matches.
One of the only circulating photos of her efforts in the kitchen comes from 2018, when she made three birthday cakes for Messi, Nehuen Perez and the president of Argentina football — so they could all celebrate together during the World Cup in Russia.
Postal completa de los cumpleañeros del día junto al Presidente: Leo Messi, el juvenil Nehuén Pérez y la chef Antonia. ¡Felicidades! pic.twitter.com/CC1iVX0saE— Selección Argentina ⭐⭐⭐ (@Argentina) June 24, 2018
This amazing embrace between two long-time coworkers finally reaching the mountaintop together is easily one of the best images to come from Argentina’s World Cup win. Much better than another chef, Salt Bae, trying desperately to get noticed.