How Lionel Messi won the World Cup with Argentina to cement his place as the greatest player of all time. This World Cup’s iconic image was going to be its last. For the award, there was a kiss. Lionel Messi was finally introduced to the World Cup. On a night filled with drama and passion, it had the right finale for the greatest of all time. The one trophy that had escaped him was won thanks to two nerveless penalties, maybe his sole recognized defect.
His other goal was scored with his weaker right foot. Every question was answered in this game. Football? I finished it. After a final that displayed the grandeur of not just Messi but another in Kylian Mbappe, he joins Pele and Diego Maradona as World Cup-winning greats. But, in reality, this was all about a feat that set him apart from the crowd. He now has the missing component.
Argentina is led to victory by Messi.
The Messi tale needs a narrative arc, which the World Cup has supplied. People want their geniuses to be imperfect because it makes them more appealing. Since antiquity, people have believed that there must be a cost for their gifts, a toll to be paid. That battle had long been difficult to perceive in Messi. Moving to Europe at the age of 13 had hurdles, but he made the change seem easy on and off the field. Even his childhood girlfriend joined him. His life has been defined by success.
This might make individuals feel uneasy. Gabriel Batistuta expressed relief at having lost his Argentina scoring record to an extraterrestrial. Carlos Mac Allister, who played with Maradona and whose son Alexis is now a World Cup champion alongside Messi, said it succinctly. Without a doubt, Messi is the best in history,” he recently said. “I am logical. I have faith in what I observe. Messi’s statistics are persuasive.” Nonetheless, there was the proviso that Maradona had given the people felt that Messi had not.
Messi won the Champions League as a youngster and went on to score in two more Barcelona victories before the age of 24. At the age of 21, he won an Olympic gold medal. Seven gold medals. 800 goals. One major issue. Copa America was just insufficient. His ultimate labor was the World Cup, an event that would not bow to his will. This fifth and last chance had arrived at a time when his abilities looked to be dwindling. He was no longer regarded as the top player in his own club, much alone the world.
The fact that he guided Argentina to victory following a defeat by Saudi Arabia meant that we finally witnessed the battle. Leads were surrendered twice, first to the Netherlands and secondly to France. But he persevered. He triumphed. It did not come easily or immediately. That adds to its uniqueness.
Messi: I want to keep Playing
His last trick might also be his best. This version of Messi is fighting against his own 35-year-old body, lacking the blistering speed that, when combined with his skill to manage the ball, made it nearly unfair. The opponent has the physical edge. Seeing him handle the difficulty with a look here and a feint there was like witnessing brilliance. Ronaldo supporters have never understood that it is about more than just goals. It is the passages that he obtains that others do not. Passes he makes that do not need others to stop pace.
Messi would understand that he needs the help of others to make this happen; he has always been a team player. He may recall 2010 to remind himself of the importance of hiring the proper management. He’ll remember other people’s misses as well as his own in 2014 final. 2018 was a shambles. It came together here over barbecues with a gang of brothers. “Everything he conveys to his teammates is exceptional, something I have never seen before,” Lionel Scaloni stated after the final. “A player is someone who goes above and beyond for his teammates.
However, this is reciprocated. Julian Alvarez had grown up watching him on television. In Qatar, he was Messi’s legs. Rodrigo De Paul said that he would go to battle for his commander. He was Messi’s bodyguard. Emiliano Martinez confessed that he would want to be happy for Messi rather than himself. Such responsibility might have been crushing, but with their followers cheering him on, it empowered him and everyone around him. It became a mission, burdened with wonderful purpose, and the clarity of that objective helped propel them all the way to triumph.
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Messi’s World Cup stats
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wins by 2-1 Argentina
Messi scored the game’s first goal from the penalty spot and Argentina ended with the most opportunities, but they did not take any of them and were punished by Saudi Arabia in the tournament’s first upset. It was the worst possible beginning.
7.39 WhoScored rating
Argentina defeats Mexico 2-0.
Argentina’s progress in the tournament was on the line when Messi scored the game-winning goal in the second half. He hammered the ball low into the bottom corner after finding space on the outside of the box to open his country’s campaign.
8.04 WhoScored rating
Argentina defeats Poland 2-0.
Messi didn’t have it all his own way against Poland in a game they couldn’t afford to lose, as his penalty was saved. Nonetheless, he was Argentina’s important player, having the most shots, generating the most opportunities, and completing the most dribbles of any player on the field.
8.18 WhoScored rating
Argentina defeats Australia 2-1.
It had been an unimpressive start for his squad, but Messi ignited it with a moment of brilliance, swinging the game Argentina’s way. He once again produced the most opportunities of everyone. There was a hiccup late on, but momentum was building.
8.15 WhoScored rating
Argentina 2-2 Holland (4-3 on penalties)
One of Messi’s greatest moments occurred when he set up Nahuel Molina for the first goal. When he converted a penalty, the game seemed to be over. The Netherlands fought back, but Argentina won the shootout thanks to Messi’s conversion.
8.69 WhoScored rating
Argentina defeated Croatia 3-0
After Messi put Argentina ahead from the penalty spot against a meek Croatia, the semi-final proved unexpectedly easy. His brilliance shone through on the dribble for the third goal, as he outwitted Josko Gvardiol before setting up Julian Alvarez.
8.38 WhoScored rating
Argentina 3-3 France (4-2 on penalty kicks)
Messi had to assist win the best final of all three times. He scored the first goal and put up the second before Kylian Mbappe equalized. Messi scored once again. Mbappe scored once again. Argentina won the shootout thanks to Messi’s bravery.
8.89 WhoScored rating
Discovering his merciless streak
Messi may have been raised to sainthood in Argentina, but this World Cup revealed his cruel side like never before. With the national squad, he has learned to accept emotions, which has contributed to Argentina’s success under Scaloni. Messi is so revered that even his opponents looked to be rooting for him to win the World Cup at times during his journey to victory. After their group game, Mexico captain Andres Guardado went his small son up to Messi to meet his idol.
After being knocked out in the round of 16, Australia’s players gathered for selfies. Croatia striker Andrej Kramaric said in advance that he expected Messi to win. “Perhaps some French people would want to see him win,” Didier Deschamps said. Following the final, an English radio phone-in discussion included listeners who stated that Messi winning the World Cup was better than England winning it. In contrast to his great competitor Cristiano Ronaldo, he has always been seen as a benign personality.
However, a new Messi has arisen. Following his defeat in the 2019 Copa America, his assertion that “Brazil controls everything” resulted in a suspension. He screamed at Yerry Mina after defeating Colombia in the semi-finals last year, upset with his previous antics. Messi’s celebration after scoring against the Netherlands was intended to provoke Dutch manager Louis van Gaal. That game was so bad-tempered that he declined Wout Weghorst’s handshake even after winning. “I’m quite disappointed,” the Dutchman said.
It contradicts Messi’s calm demeanor in Catalonia, but Argentina is a different culture, and there is a requirement for its idols to demonstrate this feistiness while battling for the country. It has made it simpler for his followers to relate to him. If Messi had to alter to fit in with Argentina, Argentina had to adjust to fit in with Messi. Tactically, Scaloni recognized that his team’s greatest opportunity – may be their only chance – of winning this World Cup was to bring out the best in everyone. That was where he began.
Scaloni furnished him with runners since he needed them. The passing options were always available, whether it was Nahuel Molina in defense, Alexis MacAllister in midfield, or Alvarez ahead of him. Argentina knew Messi could do the rest if they simply stayed together. He occupied the half area from where he could inflict the most damage, and the game became a Messi World Cup. His action against Mexico. Against Australia, he used his momentum-shifting magic. The pass was made against the Netherlands. Against Croatia, the dribble.
Messi’s World Cup statistics
Despite, or maybe because of, occasions when he seemed to be walking through matches, he was able to be decisive. He became the only man in World Cup history to score in both the group stages and the four elimination rounds. In all, there are seven goals. Only Mbappe’s late penalty kept him from being the first player to win the Golden Boot, Golden Ball, and Cup as captain. He had the most shots in the competition, the second most opportunities, and the third most dribbles completed.
He has shifted the narrative by doing so and more. The World Cup is no longer a rod to beat him with, but rather the site of his greatest achievement. He surpassed Maradona’s World Cup goal total against Australia. He broke Pele’s record against France. By winning this event, some players become game icons. Messi had already arrived. As a result, there was virtually a feeling that the World Cup depended on his winning it. After all, it couldn’t be considered the game’s final prize if the game’s ultimate player hadn’t lifted it.
It is now irrelevant. Messi has accomplished this feat.
I don’t know what I can ask for anymore,” he declared following his coronation. “What will come after this? I won the Copa America and World Cup. It occurred to me towards the end.” And, after a month of memories and a night of enchantment, his legacy was sealed with a kiss.