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Maluma Explains Why He’s Rooting For Messi To Win The 2022 FIFA World Cup

Maluma represents Colombia in everything he does. He’s the country’s lone representation at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, as it failed to qualify for the tournament. Maluma opened the FIFA Fan Festival last night (November 19) at Al Bidda Park in Doha, Qatar, wearing a Colombia jersey and couldn’t contain his pride.

“SO PROUD TO BE HERE, REPRESENTING AND FEELING PROUD OF MY COUNTRY, MY LAND, MY LATING CULTURE,” Maluma wrote on Instagram. “This moment will live forever in my heart and nothing and no one will be able to take it away from me, thank you all for believing and for giving it to me, without you the real fans none of this would be possible!!!!”

But because Los Cafeteros aren’t competing in Qatar, Maluma is forced to root for someone else.

“Predictions for the World Cup?” Maluma said in a video posted by FIFA World Cup’s official Twitter account this morning (November 20). “Well, I want to talk to you about what I want. For personal tastes, I’m an Argentinean fan, a big fan of Brazil. I really like what France has, even the favorites, but I feel that Leo [Messi] deserves to take the cup. The truth is, I know that he will not have another World Cup, and Leo is a great person, very noble, very humble, and he deserves to have that cup between his hands.”

“I think Neymar would have more chances, perhaps, than Leo, and that it is deserved,” he continued. “I think Argentina could be the world champions.”

Maluma, Nicki Minaj and Myriam Fares collaborated on “Tukoh Taka,” released Friday (November 18) as the official anthem for the FIFA Fan Festival. Per Billboard, “Tukoh Taka” is the first song in FIFA World Cup history to feature English, Spanish and Arabic lyrics. Watch the official music video here.

Maluma’s interview about his World Cup predictions went much smoother than his sit-down with Israel’s state-owned Kan TV, where he was asked why he chose to perform at the 2022 World Cup despite Qatar’s pervasive human rights issues.

“It’s something that I can’t resolve,” Maluma said. “I just came here to enjoy life, enjoy soccer, the party of soccer. It’s not actually something that I have to be involved with. I’m here enjoying my music and beautiful life playing soccer, too.”

The interviewer doubled down on the question, presumably failing to realize the irony in the fact he was also conducting this interview in Qatar and working in the problematic country the same as Maluma, who called him “rude” and walked off the set.

Last weekend, Dua Lipa shut down rumors she was performing at the opening ceremony and said she will only visit the country once “it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup.”

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kicked off this morning and will continue through December 18.

See clips of Maluma’s performance below.

Dua Lipa is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.