Lionel Messi saved his best World Cup play for last. He only had to write one line. Messi was the best player at the Qatar tournament, while Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo were not good enough and had to go home. Messi, who is 35 years old, has been the tournament’s hero from the first game Argentina played until they beat Croatia in the semi-finals.
The final against France on Sunday was made possible by six starts, five goals, and three assists. Messi has scored more goals and played in more World Cup games for Argentina than Maradona. On Sunday, he will tie Lothar Matthaeus’ record of 25 tournament games. Messi’s mesmerizing moves and joyful celebrations have made football fans all over the world very happy.
Messi’s magic shines brightest in the final game of the Qatar
Messi has been patient, waiting for his chance to use his low centre of gravity, great speed changes, and shimmying moves with the ball stuck to his feet. Argentina’s first game was a loss to Saudi Arabia. But Messi got the team back on track. Then came five wins. His best goal against Mexico was a low one.
Analysts were shocked when he passed the ball to Nahuel Molina, who scored Argentina’s first goal against the Netherlands in the quarterfinal. Messi didn’t look up, but he still found Molina with unbelievable accuracy. Messi made Argentine fans fall in love with Qatar.
They had been comparing him to Maradona because of his happy attitude, love for his country, and 1986 World Cup win. Messi put his hands over his ears after scoring a penalty to make Argentine fans go crazy with joy. He asked a Dutch striker, “What are you looking at, fool?” after the game.
Even though some people said Messi was acting like Maradona, his fans loved it. Some people have the phrase tattooed on their bodies. “When he played Holland, his “inner Maradona” came out. One. Everlasting. Argentines!” Jorge Castellanos was very happy because he had a flag with both men holding hands.
Even with all this praise, everyone knows beating the French is the key to being as great as Maradona. Many people who aren’t from Argentina think of Argentina as their second team because they think Messi will win the World Cup if their team doesn’t. Messi joined the youth program in Barcelona when he was 13. The new player did very well in the youth leagues until 2003 when he was 16 years old and played against Porto for the first time as a senior.
Messi scored 672 goals in 778 games for Barcelona, making him the team’s all-time top scorer. In 2011-12, he scored 50 goals in La Liga. Before joining PSG last year, he won 10 La Liga titles and 4 Champions League titles with Barcelona. He won seven Ballon d’Or and six FIFA Player of the Year awards. He has scored more goals than anyone else in Argentina’s history.
Last year, after 28 years without a trophy, he led his country to win Copa America. Messi wants to win a World Cup. Even if Argentina loses, Messi has won over a country that knows he loved the shirt as much as Maradona and gave them great moments. They couldn’t have tried harder to win the World Cup. Argentine reporter Sofia Martinez Mateos summed up the mood by giving a speech at the end of an interview with Messi.
He is “a sprite floating on the periphery of the game until the moment is right,” wrote British sports writer Jonathan Wilson. “You can mark a man; much harder to mark a ghost.”