Inter Miami captain Lionel Messi appeared to debut a new celebration against Atlanta United with what looked like a ‘Hold my beer’ gesture caught on camera.
The gesture appeared to be directed at the Herons’ president David Beckham.
It was thought to be a shout-out to a legend of the sport from another fitting that description.
The Argentina skipper’s wife Antonela Roccuzzo confirmed that the celebration was, in fact, a nod to Marvel Cinematic Universe character Thor Odinson of Asgard.
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth portrayed Thor in eight movies as part of that franchise.
A short clip has emerged online where, after Messi extends his right hand in that gesture, his eyes light up, there is a crackling of electricity, and the FIFA World Cup trophy makes its way to the Argentine just like Mjolnir with Thor.
Messi finally got his hands on the one trophy that had eluded him in Qatar, ending decades’ worth of hurt for his countrymen.
His celebration is a take on Thor extending his hand to draw Mjolnir, and later Stormbreaker, to himself.
For the former, Thor had to prove his worth while the latter was made specifically for him to decapitate Thanos at Nidavellir.
Roccuzzo confirmed the suspicions that abounded about the gesture’s links to the Marvel character.
Messi scored twice against Atlanta United and added an assist as Vice City ran out 4-0 winners in the Leagues Cup.
The win ensured Tata Martino’s side progressed to the next stage of the competition, with one of Santos Laguna, Orlando City, and Houston Dynamo lying in wait.
It is far from the only time Messi has been linked to the MCU.
After scoring his 700th career goal, Messi winked and snapped his fingers in what was considered a nod to the infamous Titan’s snap in Avengers: Infinity War.
In truth, it was merely a cheeky gesture that followed a Panenka penalty for then-side Barcelona against Atletico Madrid in a La Liga fixture in 2020.
Some responded in disappointment after their conjecture that the gesture was a reference to Darth Vader was disproved.
Star Wars is a pop-culture phenomenon in the United States since the retroactively named Episode IV: A New Hope released in 1977.
James Earl Jones, who voiced Vader in the original trilogy, has enjoyed iconic status for the same.
Messi customarily celebrates a goal with his fingers pointed to the sky in honor of his grandmother.
He has been known to add simple gestures every now and then.
On one occasion, he drew an invisible streak under his eye with two fingers to help raise money for the creation of a Paediatric Cancer Centre in Barcelona.
A little earlier in the same campaign, he made a phone gesture to let his nephew know that they would converse later.
Prior to that, there was radio silence between the two as Luis Enrique’s Barca side were preparing for the eventual Remontada against Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
It remains to be seen whether Messi performs the same gesture again or if he unveils a new one in future games.