Messi’s last dance, last chance for World Cup glory
14 December 2022, 03:07 pm | Updated: 07 December 2023, 01:09 pm
Lionel Messi has declared that the final on Sunday will be his last appearance in a World Cup match.
In Tuesday’s (Qatar time) 3-0 semi-final victory over Croatia, the 35-year-old Argentina captain assisted on two goals and scored his fifth goal of Qatar World Cup 2022.
Messi is competing in his fifth World Cup, but he has never taken home the World Cup trophy.
He was quoted by the BBC as saying: “I am very happy for finishing my journey in World Cups in a final, to play the last game in a final. That is really very gratifying.”
Messi further said, “Everything that I lived in this World Cup has been emotional, seeing how much it has been enjoyed in Argentina… There are a lot of years from this year to the next one. I don’t think I will be able to do that. To finish this way is brilliant.”
Messi will make his 26th appearance in the World Cup when Argentina plays either France or Morocco in the championship game.
Mexico, Canada, and the United States will host the 2026 World Cup, the BBC report adds.
Messi has been named FIFA Best Men’s Player once and received record seven Ballon d’Or awards. In addition, he has won four Champions League trophies.
The one obvious omission is the World Cup, when Argentina lost to Germany in the 2014 championship game.
Messi, who resigned from international service in June 2016 before changing his mind two months later, said, “We are going to do our best, as we have done up until now, so that this time it really happens – we really win it.”
Along with Antonio Carbajal, Lothar Matthaus, Rafa Marquez, Andres Guardado, and Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, a player for Paris Saint-Germain, is one of just six players to have participated in five World Cups.
Messi, who is now tied for the tournament's top scorer in Qatar with Kylian Mbappe of France, became the first player from Argentina to score in four World Cups and set a new record for the nation with 11 goals. At the age of 18, he made his Argentine debut in 2005. He has 97 goals in 172 appearances.
Category : Sports