Lautaro Martínez scored a fortunate goal against Bolivia that ended his personal goal drought for Argentina, with his first touch after coming in as a substitute in the albiceleste’s 4-1 win.
The striker was presented with an open net from point-blank range, and he did not miss, boosting his confidence as Copa América is about to enter the knockout stage.
And while it has not been confirmed, it seems that Lionel Messi may have played a hand in Martínez’s change in fortune.
In training prior to the match, he was seen with a red ribbon around his wrist, something unusual for the Inter Milan forward.
Lautaro Martinez with (it looks like) Messi's lucky red ribbon— Luis Mazariegos (@luism8989) June 29, 2021
Lautaro Martinez a minute after coming on and scoring and ending his drought for Argentina pic.twitter.com/9t9hEOW2aU
That has led to speculation that it’s Messi’s lucky red ribbon which was given to him at the previous FIFA World Cup. A journalist gave it to the star player after explaining his mother gave it to him for good luck. Argentina were facing elimination and Messi had missed a penalty against Iceland. Argentina would win the next match, with Messi scoring a trademark goal.
The ribbon has then been seen on Messi’s teammates who were undergoing a bad run of form, like fellow FC Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho and Argentina compatriot Paulo Dybala. Dybala scored his first goal for the national team against Chile after being given the charm.
”Messi gave me the red ribbon before the match to give me luck. I ended up scoring my first goal for Argentina, it worked and I thank him,” Dybala said.
Martínez has not publicly commented on the picture but the scenario (a teammate undergoing a goal drought) fits with this pattern.
He wore long sleeves during the match against Bolivia so it was not possible to tell if he wore the ribbon around the wrist. In addition, he may have worn it around his ankle under his sock, as Messi did during matches.